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Shiva and family, including Parvati, Ganesha, and Kartikeya, preparing soma on Mount Kailasa
Place of Origin: India, Kangra or Guler, Himachal Pradesh state
Date: approx. 1800
Materials: Opaque watercolors on paper
Dimensions: H. 9 7/8 in x W. 7 1/4 in, H. 25.1 cm x W. 18.4 cm (image)
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. Stephen A. Sherwin and Merrill Randol Sherwin
Department: South Asian Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: 2010.16
On Display: No

Description

Label: This painting shows the Hindu god Shiva and his family in their home on the sacred mountain Kailasa. This Himalayan peak is considered a sacred place for Buddhists, Jains, and Hindus. In Hindusim, Mount Kailasa (and the Himalayas more generally) is the abode of Lord Shiva and a place of eternal bliss. In this scene Shiva, his consort Parvati, and their sons Ganesha and Skanda appear engaged in sifting, grinding, and heating to make soma, the nectar of immortality. The animals in the scene are the mounts of the holy family—Shiva's bull, Parvati's tiger, Ganesha's mouse and Skanda's peacock—who appear to live peacefully in their mountainous retreat.

More Information

Exhibition History: "Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past", May 18 - September 2, 2012
Additional Label:

Parvati (“daughter of the mountain”) is a powerful goddess in her own right, known for her asceticism that captured the attention of Shiva. As the consort of Shiva, she occupies many places: as the cosmic force who establishes order; as the benevolent and gentle Uma; as the embodiment of the supreme divine being’s female aspect, along with Shiva as the male aspect. Parvati is also the mother of the beloved elephant-headed god Ganesha and his brother Skanda.

In paintings depicting Shiva in his aspect as the ideal householder (grihastha, or married family man), Parvati is represented as the model of a virtuous and devoted wife. Here, assisted by her sons, she is busy in the domestic setting of Shiva’s home on Mount Kailasa, sifting, grinding, and heating ingredients for preparing soma, the nectar of immortality.

(Object label from Worshiping Women: Power and Devotion in Indian Painting.)


Label: This painting shows the Hindu god Shiva and his family in their home on the sacred mountain Kailasa. This Himalayan peak is considered a sacred place for Buddhists, Jains, and Hindus. In Hindusim, Mount Kailasa (and the Himalayas more generally) is the abode of Lord Shiva and a place of eternal bliss. In this scene Shiva, his consort Parvati, and their sons Ganesha and Skanda appear engaged in sifting, grinding, and heating to make soma, the nectar of immortality. The animals in the scene are the mounts of the holy family—Shiva's bull, Parvati's tiger, Ganesha's mouse and Skanda's peacock—who appear to live peacefully in their mountainous retreat.
Exhibition History: "Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past", May 18 - September 2, 2012
Expanded Label:

Parvati (“daughter of the mountain”) is a powerful goddess in her own right, known for her asceticism that captured the attention of Shiva. As the consort of Shiva, she occupies many places: as the cosmic force who establishes order; as the benevolent and gentle Uma; as the embodiment of the supreme divine being’s female aspect, along with Shiva as the male aspect. Parvati is also the mother of the beloved elephant-headed god Ganesha and his brother Skanda.

In paintings depicting Shiva in his aspect as the ideal householder (grihastha, or married family man), Parvati is represented as the model of a virtuous and devoted wife. Here, assisted by her sons, she is busy in the domestic setting of Shiva’s home on Mount Kailasa, sifting, grinding, and heating ingredients for preparing soma, the nectar of immortality.

(Object label from Worshiping Women: Power and Devotion in Indian Painting.)