Here, by using silk as his preferred material, the artist has managed to exploit the potential of batik to the maximum. Both the beautifying crackles and the overlapping subtle color gradations can be perceived here.
The subject matter itself, that of the Great omnipresent goddess Durga is a popular one throughout India. Here she is shown gracefully poised on her lion mount.She is eight armed, with the main right arm making the boon-granting gesture, and the main left resting on her lap. The remaining six arms hold various symbolic implements.
The mount of Durga, the lion is a symbol of divine solar power, royal authority, strength, courage, and wisdom. It is an image of the great and terrible in nature, a commanding personification of the sun itself. As it is actually a shade-loving, mainly nocturnal hunter, its solar associations are based less on observation of its nature than on the iconographic splendor of its golden coat, radiant mane and sheer physical presence. It appears as both destroyer and savior, invested with a godlike dualism and capable of representing evil and its destruction. Also as it represents the male element in the manifested universe, its taming by the goddess symbolizes the annihilation of the patriarchal system and its replacement by the matriarchal.
Shaw, Jennifer and Robin Shaw. Batik New Look at an Ancient Art: New York, Doubleday, 1974.
Tresidder, Jack. Dictionary of Symbols: Oxford, Helicon Publishing Ltd., 1997.