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: Giant Demon Attacks a Ship

Giant Demon Attacks a Ship

Panel painting
Historical period(s)
ca. 1775
Jain School
Opaque watercolor on plain-woven fabric support attached to a fabric covered panel.
H x W: 129.2 x 123.3 cm (50 7/8 x 48 9/16 in)
India, Gujarat
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
Popular tales and lively images played a role in transmitting beliefs and values to the Jain community. The Shripalarasa is a narrative that recounts the wondrous adventures of the Jain Prince Shripala, who travels to distant lands in search of trade and wealth. In this unusually large and vivacious painting, the artist represents the Prince's ship as a British vessel. The inscriptions scattered across the painting, which repetively identify parts of the ship, indicate a fascination with seafaring. The depiction of the Union Jack lends immediacy to a story that took place long before the British came to India.

Private collector [1]

To 1999
Spink & Son Ltd., London, to 1999

From 1999
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Spink & Son Ltd. in 1999


[1] According to Curatorial Note 3 in the object record.

Former owner
Spink & Son Ltd.
On View Location
Currently not on view
boat, demon, fish, India, WWII-era provenance
Collection(s) Area
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

The Freer|Sackler is closed for renovation and reinstallation. The popular exhibition Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan is still on view in the International Gallery. (Enter through the Ripley Center.) Join us for our reopening celebration on October 14–15, 2017.