An illustration to a Mahabharata series  Kangra, circa 1815-20
Lot 121
An illustration to a Mahabharata series Kangra, circa 1815-20
US$ 50,000 - 80,000
£31,000 - 49,000

Lot Details
An illustration to a Mahabharata series,  In the manner of Purkhu, Kangra, circa 1815-20 An illustration to a Mahabharata series,  In the manner of Purkhu, Kangra, circa 1815-20 An illustration to a Mahabharata series,  In the manner of Purkhu, Kangra, circa 1815-20 An illustration to a Mahabharata series,  In the manner of Purkhu, Kangra, circa 1815-20
An illustration to a Mahabharata series
Kangra, circa 1815-20
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper; At the center, the soft blue-skinned warrior Arjuna raises his hands in anjali mudra as he stands before Lord Shiva and Nandi upon a tigerskin, entreating his forgiveness for having failed to recognize Shiva previously in the form of a demon, now lying slain in the left corner. Shiva responds with gestures of reassurance (abhaya) and charity (varada). His surrounding devtas, each with his own distinctive facial hair, witness this great test of Arjuna's bravery, while apsaras wearing gilded crowns offer flowers and garlands (puspavrushtri) in celebration from the clouds above.
Image: 13 3/8 x 17 1/2 in. (33.9 x 44.3 cm); Folio: 19 7/8 x 15 7/8 in. (50.4 x 40.3 cm)

Footnotes

  • This work is from a series of paintings identified by Archer in Paintings of the Punjab Hills, vol. 1, London, 1973, no. 61, pp. 304-305. They are unusually large in size and illustrate a poem by Bhairavi, describing the exploits of the hero Arjuna as described in a portion of the Mahabharata. Another page from the same series, but of a later date, sold at Sotheby's, New York, September 19, 2006, lot 14. Further related large format pages of a later date page were sold at Sotheby's, New York, March 19, 2008, lot 217 and another at Bonhams, New York, March 19, 2012, lot 189.

    Provenance:
    Sotheby's, New York, June 17, 1993, lot 416
    Private Collection, New York
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    Specialist - Southeast Asian, Indian and Himalayan Art
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