On this page you see the ashtabhujadhari (eight-armed) Devi Durga, with one of Her anteriormost hands raised in blessing over Her devotees. Coloured in the wrath and raw ferocity of Her Mahishasuramardini iconography (‘mardini’ is Sanskrt for ‘slayeress’), it is easy to overlook the tranquil and beauteous side of Devi Durga. After all, She is the wife of Lord Shiva and the queen of the Hindi devi pantheon. This brass composition captures the beauty and grace of Her solitary image.
She mounts (vahini) the back of Her simha (lion). The silk of Her dhoti lies in lifelike folds over Her lalitasana legs. Her long, slender torso is bedecked with ample gold jewellery, fit for a queen as powerful as She is. Her crowned and haloed countenance bears a composure of calm and determination and independence. The engraved aureole and intricately sculpted pedestal frame the composition.