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Varaha and Hiranyaksha

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Kolkata (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1835-ca. 1840 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in watercolour with lithographed outlines, tin alloy details and black shading, on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Painting, watercolour with lithographed outlines, silver-coloured (tin alloy) details and black shading, on paper, image of the boar Varaha, the third incarnation of Vishnu standing in triumph after destroying the demon Hiranyaksha, persecutor of men and gods. Thus Varaha saved the Goddess Prithvi (Earth).

Place of Origin

Kolkata (made)


ca. 1835-ca. 1840 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Painted in watercolour with lithographed outlines, tin alloy details and black shading, on paper


Height: 426 mm maximum, Width: 288 mm maximum

Object history note

Historical significance: Calcutta was recognised as the capital of British India from 1833-1912. By the 1830s, artists had arrived from rural villages in Bengal and began to produce paintings that reflected the local history, mythology, customs and conflics of a colonised society. As a popular art form, these artists are recognised for their use of brilliant colour, simplified images and swift brushstrokes that became the hallmark of Kalighat painting in the 19th and early 20th century.

Descriptive line

Painting, Varaha standing in triumph over Hiranyaksha, watercolour and tin alloy on paper, Kalighat, Kolkata, ca. 1835-1840

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

Pl. no. 5, cat. no. 2,i: p. 47.
Kalighat paintings : a catalogue and introduction / by W.G. Archer. London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1971 Number: 0112900291 :


Paint; Watercolour; Tin alloy; Paper



Subjects depicted

Demon; Deities; Boar


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


South & South East Asia Collection

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