Durga Slaying Mahisha

Durga Slaying Mahisha

c. 1700-1710

Ink and color on paper

Overall: 15.5 x 21.2 cm (6 1/8 x 8 3/8 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1960.51

Description

Durga is the name of the goddess who personifies the sum total of the powers of all the male gods combined. When she vanquishes the fierce buffalo demon named Mahisha, she is described as having many arms, each holding a different weapon: bow and arrow, trident, discus, shield, sword, mace, and the conch shell that sounds the start of battle. The horizontal lines on her arms are sectarian markings. At the moment depicted in this painting, she has succeeded in beheading the buffalo demon and shooting arrows into his true form that climbs from its neck. Artists in the foothills of the western Himalayas, where this work was made, depicted Durga’s mount as a tiger—lions and tigers had synonymous meaning throughout India as emblems of shakti, or divine creative energy.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.