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)