Part of a set. See all set records
Gum tempera, graphite, ink, and tin on paper
Secondary Support: 46.9 x 29.8 cm (18 7/16 x 11 3/4 in.); Painting only: 45.5 x 27.7 cm (17 15/16 x 10 7/8 in.)
Gift of William E. Ward in memory of his wife, Evelyn Svec Ward 2003.157.a
Sheetala, the smallpox goddess, is simultaneously benevolent and dangerous: she can both protect and infect, bless and curse devotees with smallpox and other diseases. Persons scarred by smallpox are believed to have been graced by her. She is appeased so that she does not infect her worshippers. Her name, Sheetala, “Cool One,” refers to her birth out of a cooled sacrificial fire. The rippled curtains above her are suggestive of theatrical tableau and Sheetalapala (The Drama of Sheetala) that was performed in Bengal. She sits astride her vehicle (vahana), the donkey, regarded as an inauspicious animal.
The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email email@example.com.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.