Mahishasura Meets His End At The Feet Of Devi Durga
If the spirit of the eastern delta peoples could be put into a picture, it would be the Devi Mahishasuramardini image. The beloved Durga-roopa of Devi Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva, is the embodiment of strength, dharma, and beauty. When all the deities of devaloka had failed to vanquish the arrogant Mahishasura (buffalo-demon), She had emerged in all Her ferociousness and invincibility, and put an end to him (‘mardini’ is Sanskrt for ‘slayeress’).
She has the roopa of the traditional Indian devi. Dressed in a statement red saree that contrasts gorgeously against Her dewy, olive complexion, Her ten arms (dashabhujadhari) bear a plethora of weapons and dharmic symbols. With one foot resting on Her trusty simhavahana, She pins down Mahishasura with the other and pierces Her spear into Him. At death’s door, he flails His muscular arms helplessly at Her feet. Her large lifelike eyes gaze straight ahead with determination and an expression of accomplishment. A couple of wrathful devis, with severed demon-heads in their hands, are depicted on the lower panel.
Tussar is the most sumptuous silk produced in the moist soils of the region. Its texture and the pale ivory natural colour form the perfect canvas for the rich pastels that make up the colour palette of traditional compositions such as this one.
WATER COLOR PAINTING ON TUSSAR SILK
FOLK ART FROM THE TEMPLE TOWN PURI (ORISSA)
ARTIST: RABI BEHERA
22.5 INCHES X 35 INCHES