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Kali dancing on Shiva

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Kolkata (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1890 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Painting, in opaque watercolour on paper. Four-armed Kali is depicted standing on a prostrate Shiva. The deity is shown with her third eye and she is garlanded. The hair of the goddess has been let loose and there is a halo behind her tiara-adorned head. She is holding in her upper left hand a kharga, the sacrificial axe and in her lower left hand she is holding a severed head of an Asur, a demon. The deity is supposed to hold other two arms in abhoy-mudra and baroda-mudra, but the painter has not shown the correct postures. Around her waist the goddess is wearing a skirt made up of severed arms of slained Asurs. A crow or a magpie is seen licking dripping blood from the Asur's severed neck. The prostrate Shiva has a coiled snake over his head and another snake can be seen round his neck.

Place of Origin

Kolkata (made)


ca. 1890 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour on paper


Height: 460 mm approx., Width: 325 mm approx., Height: 492 mm cardboard mount onto which object attached, Width: 358 mm cardboard mount onto which object attached

Object history note

Part of an album, containing 196 prints, paintings and pen and pencil drawings together with 37 loose pages of paintings, calligraphic drawings, and outline pen drawings. The album was collected by late J Lockwood Kipling between the years 1865 and 1893. In 1875 he became Principal of the Mayo School of Art, Lahore and held this post until his retirement in 1893. The album was presented to the Museum by his son, Rudyard Kipling in 1917.

Descriptive line

Painting, Kali dancing on Shiva, opaque watercolour on paper, Kalighat, Kolkata, India, ca.1890

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

pl. 45, cat. no. 32. ii: p. 91.
Kalighat paintings : a catalogue and introduction / by W.G. Archer. London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1971 Number: 0112900291 :


Paper; Opaque watercolour; Paint



Subjects depicted

Demon; Hinduism; Deities; Snake


Paintings; Hinduism; Religion; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

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