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Painting - The god Subrahmanya, the god of war.

The god Subrahmanya, the god of war.

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Tiruchchirappalli (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1820 - ca. 1825 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Opaque watercolour on watermarked paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The pictures made by Indian artists for the British in India are called Company paintings. This example is from a collection of 100 such paintings. They show Hindu deities and their vehicles, the Guardians of the Quarters, the avataras (incarnations) of Vishnu, and the story of Krishna. The subject matter is unusual one for Company Paintings, which generally showed more popular themes such as occupations and costume. An Englishman with scholarly interests must have commissioned this one.

Physical description

The god of war (Subrahmanya) in his form as the lance-bearer (Mailerivelan) mounted on a peacock with his two shaktis, Valli and Devasena. The god is pink-skinned, four-armed, holding two wavy swords and displaying abhaya and vara hastas (symbolic hand positions). Beside him are two female figures. They are enthroned on the back of a peacock, who stands on the body of a cobra and holds another in his beak. Overarching the deities is a ring of flames.

Place of Origin

Tiruchchirappalli (made)


ca. 1820 - ca. 1825 (painted)



Materials and Techniques

Opaque watercolour on watermarked paper

Marks and inscriptions

6. Soobramaneyasaumy and the Goddess Valleehamona and Teyvannah, the son of Paramaswera.
Inscription; decoration; English; Roman; beneath illustration

'6. Soobramaneyasaumy and the Goddess Valleehamona and Teyvannah, the son of Parameswera.'
Inscription; decoration; English; Roman; Beneath illustration

Inscription; decoration; Telugu; Telugu; beneath picture


Height: 22 cm, Width: 18 cm

Object history note

Purchased from Mr A. Churchill, 1923.

Descriptive line

Painting; gouache on watermarked paper, The god Subrahmanya, the god of war, Trichinopoly, ca. 1825.

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

Archer, Mildred. Company Paintings Indian Paintings of the British period
Victoria and Albert Museum Indian Series London: Victoria and Albert Museum, Maplin Publishing, 1992 25 p. ISBN 0944142303


Paper; Opaque watercolour



Subjects depicted

Deities; Snake (animal); Peacock


Hinduism; Paintings; Indian Company Paintings


South & South East Asia Collection

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