The image of women at worship, often in acts of private devotion, is a common one in Indian paintings. Here, a female devotee and her companion perform rituals and make offerings of flowers at a small outdoor shrine devoted to Shiva (represented here in a symbolic form of the linga). Ritual vessels, including perfume sprinklers and a bowl of flowers, are seen near the kneeling woman. The starry, moonlit night sky and the shrine’s isolated location give the painting a sense of peacefulness and the women’s devotions a quiet intensity.
(Object label from Worshiping Women: Power and Devotion in Indian Painting.)