An image of Kamala Kamini nursing a baby elephant

Kalighat school

(India circa 1830 – 1930)

Kamala Kamini nursing a baby elephant

Other titles:
Kamala Kaminy, a form of the Goddess Durga or Chandi with Ganesh
Location
Not on display
Further information

Images such as this are known as Kalighat paintings, after the famous Kalighat temple in Kolkata (Calcutta) dedicated to Kali, the fearsome goddess of time and death. From around 1830, distinctive, quickly painted souvenirs were produced
in large numbers for visitors who flocked to the temple. The images were intended to aid domestic worship and typically illustrate Hindu deities. Later, mass-produced prints replaced Kalighat paintings.

Paintings of goddesses were a favourite subject among Khaligat customers and their composition is often similar due to the need to produce pictures quickly and cheaply. Here is a painting of the goddess Kamala Kamini who is said to be an incarnation of the fearsome goddess Durga.Durga is usually depicted slaughtering the buffalo demon, Mahisasura, but here she is seated on a lotus leaf and accompanied by a baby elephant. In some stories, Kamala Kamini, Durga is the mother of Ganesha, while in others the connection between the goddess and the elephant symbolises an
abundance of rain.

Place of origin
Kalighat, Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal, India
Year
1880-1899
Media
Painting, Watercolour
Medium
watercolour with silver paint on paper
Dimensions
44.2 x 27.2 cm (irreg.)
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Credit
Purchased 1959
Accession number
EP5.1959