Despite the size and the difficult medium of this watercolour, the all-important iconography of the dashabhujadhari Devi is intact. Ample black hair cascades down from beneath Her elaborate bejewelled crown. The defeated Mashishasura (bull-demon, which explains the name ‘Mahishasuramardini’) cowers at Her feet. His body is pierced by Her spear, His limbs devoured by Her simhavahana. Zoom in on the bottom of the painting - the weapon of the adharmee has fallen off from his hand, and his vahana the bull is dead and trampled upon.
The serene blue aureole lends to this dynamic composition a hint of stillness and depth. The arc of the marble saucer is lined with a panel of floral motifs, the likes of which are to be seen in the makeshift temples erected in Her honour during the biennial festival of the East.
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