Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
South Asia, Room 41

Kantha

early 20th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This sitting mat is embroidered with Hindu gods and goddesses, dressed as urban Bengalis. The scenes show the goddess Devi Chandi standing on a lion fighting the demons Chanda and Munda, who were soldiers of the demon Shumbha ; Krishna playing the flute, with Radha and two attendants; Rama and Sita enthroned, with the monkey god Hanuman paying homage before them, and either Bharata or Lakshman holding a parasol and another attendant with a fly-whisk; and a goddess, probably Lakshmi the goddess of wealth, enthroned, with Kartik with his peacock and Lakshmi's vehicle the owl to her right. Two other attendants are shown beside the goddess.
The name of the maker, Srimati Basanta Kumari, is embroidered around the central roundel.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Cotton, embroidered with cotton thread
Brief Description
Embroidered mat (ason), squarish cotton with multi-coloured human and divine figures, animals and flowers, probably made in Khulna, Bangladesh, early 20th century
Physical Description
A squarish cotton mat embroidered in multi-coloured cotton thread with designs of human figures, Hindu gods, animals and flowers.
Dimensions
  • Length: 89.8cm
  • Width: 86.5cm
Marks and Inscriptions
Sreemati basanta Kumari Daseer ae bayashan (Embroidered, in Bengali script)
Gallery Label
MAT (ASHON) Cotton, embroidered and quilted Probably made in Khulna, Bangladesh, 1900-1930 IS 16-2008 Purchased with the help of the Luigi and Laura Dallapiccola Foundation This sitting mat is embroidered with Hindu gods and goddesses, dressed as urban Bengalis. The scenes show the goddess Devi Chand standing on a lion fighting two demons; Krishna playing the flute, with Radha and two attendants; Rama and Sita enthroned, with the monkey god Hanuman paying homage; and Lakshmi the goddessof wealth enthroned, with her vehicle the owl to her right. The name of the maker, Srimati Basanta Kumari, is embroidered around the central roundel. (8 August 2013)
Credit line
Purchased with the assistance of the Luigi and Laura Dallapiccola Foundation
Production
Probably made in Khulna, Bangladesh
Subjects depicted
Summary
This sitting mat is embroidered with Hindu gods and goddesses, dressed as urban Bengalis. The scenes show the goddess Devi Chandi standing on a lion fighting the demons Chanda and Munda, who were soldiers of the demon Shumbha ; Krishna playing the flute, with Radha and two attendants; Rama and Sita enthroned, with the monkey god Hanuman paying homage before them, and either Bharata or Lakshman holding a parasol and another attendant with a fly-whisk; and a goddess, probably Lakshmi the goddess of wealth, enthroned, with Kartik with his peacock and Lakshmi's vehicle the owl to her right. Two other attendants are shown beside the goddess.

The name of the maker, Srimati Basanta Kumari, is embroidered around the central roundel.
Collection
Accession Number
IS.16-2008

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record createdAugust 29, 2008
Record URL