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Shiva and his family

Accession Number
1942.4

Title
Shiva and his family

Artist(s)
Artist Unknown, India, Punjab Hills, Kangra School

Object Creation Date
circa 1790-1800

Medium & Support
ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

Dimensions
7 ⅝ in x 5 ⅜ in (19.37 cm x 13.65 cm);19 3/10 in x 14 3/10 in (49.05 cm x 36.35 cm);7 ⅝ in x 5 ⅜ in (19.37 cm x 13.65 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Walter R. Parker

Label copy
India, Punjab Hills, Kangra school
ca. 1790–1800
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Gift of Dr. Walter R. Parker, 1942.4
In this idyllic scene, the goddess Parvati offers her husband, the Hindu god
Shiva, a drink as they enjoy a quiet moment together. Their children, the
elephant-headed Ganesha and Skanda, play inside a tent made from the hide of
an elephant demon slain by Shiva. Both parents wear animal skins, the clothing
of mountain-dwelling ascetics, and Shiva is adorned with a long necklace of
skulls and a snake. Together the story and iconographic details allude to various
aspects of Shiva’s character—lover, family man, destroyer of evil, and supreme
practitioner of austerities—but, as is typical of Kangra painting, the overall mood
is one of tranquility and domestic harmony.
Kangra was a small Rajput state in the Punjab Hills, which lies or lay? at the foot
of the Himalaya mountain range in the far north of India. From the mid-eighteenth
century, artists in this region began to employ certain features of European
painting, as filtered through the painting of the Mughals (a Muslim dynasty of
Central Asian origin that extended over the Indian subcontinent). Here we see
that influence in the naturalistic palette and treatment of forms, especially the
animals and tree.

Subject matter
The narrative and iconographical elements of this scene alludes to multiple aspects of Shiva’s character—as lover, family man, destroyer of evil, and supreme practitioner of austerities—but, as is typical of Kangra painting, the overall mood is one of tranquility and domestic harmony.
Kangra was a small Rajput state in the Punjab Hills, which lie at the foot of the Himalaya in the far north of India. From the mid-eighteenth century, artists in this region began to adapt certain features of European painting, as filtered through Mughal painting. That impact is seen here in the naturalistic palette and treatment of forms, especially the animals and tree.

Physical Description
In this idyllic scene, the goddess Parvati offers her husband Shiva a drink, as they enjoy a quiet moment together. Their children, the elephant-headed Ganesha and Skanda, play inside a tent made from the hide of an elephant demon that Shiva had slain. Both parents are clothed in animal skins, the garb of mountain-dwelling ascetics, while Shiva is further adorned with a long necklace of skulls and a snake.

Primary Object Classification
Unbound Work

Primary Object Type
leaf

Additional Object Classification(s)
Painting

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Hinduism
Shiva
branches
children (people by age group)
elephant (paper size)
elephants
oxen
tent

13 Related Resources

Art of the Mughal Empire
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Families
(Part of 5 Learning Collections)
Fatherhood
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Hindu Gods and Goddesses
(Part of 6 Learning Collections)
Marriage
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)
Kindergarten Tour: Family Portrait
(Part of: Visit UMMA: Curricular Tour Descriptions for Teachers)
C2 - Chanchani - yogic body (main set)
(Part of: Curriculum/Collection)
The Art of Yoga
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted