Battle Scene from a Devi Mahatmya

The epic battle between the forces of the goddess Durga and those of a hoard of asuras, or demons, illustrates the power and varied forms of Devi. Centrally placed on the left is Durga on her lion; below, the emaciated Chamunda (Durga’s terrifying aspect) advances. Surrounding them are female manifestations of the Hindu pantheon, the Matrikas; flying above are Vaishnavi on Garuda, Kaumari on a peacock, and Brahmani on a swan, while Indrani rides on an elephant and Maheswari on a bull.

Ink, wash, and translucent watercolor on paper


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Metropolitan Museum of Art

Date :

late 18th century

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