Dancing Devi
India, state of Rajasthan, Bikaner, ca. 1725. Opaque and transparent watercolor, ink, and silver on paper. Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fletcher Fund, 1996.

In this elegant and restrained drawing from the desert kingdom of Bikaner in the state of Rajasthan, the Great Goddess executes a graceful dance upon a lotus. The rounded contours of her gown, its pattern of delicate leaves and flowers, and the lazy droop of the full lotus leaves evoke aspects of the goddess connected with fertility and abundance. Her many weapons, rendered in silver paint, remind us of her extraordinary powers. This large drawing was apparently envisioned to serve as an individual image and not be included in a narrative manuscript.

Return

Dancing Devi