Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

(Formerly Prince of Wales Museum of Western India)

Month of Jyeshtha
From a set of Baramasa,
Rajashani, Kotah,circa 1760.
Object of the month - June 2015

Bundi and Kotah artists have been prolific in the creation of the Baramasa1 and Ragamala series of paintings and have adopted very similar compositions for each of themes. This paintings is from one such dispersed Baramasa set. It includes lush green foliage, birds and animals, hillocks and river, architecture, and human beings, each being and important part of the drama.

Money God Hanuman
India, Karnataka, Gadag,
c.16th century
Bronze, 32.5 cm. ( 13.3 x 11x 38.5 cms)
2009.537
Object of the month - April 2015

Hanuman is the name for both a species of money as well as the devout simian follower of Rama, the divine hero of the epic Ramayana and an avatar of Vishnu. Apart from being represented with Rama, Hanuman is the focus of widespread worship by Hindus as a remover of difficulties (sankatamochana). This image once certainly belonged to a group that must have included Rama, Lakshmana, one of Rama’s siblings, and his spouse Sita. From Hanuman’s posture and attitude of devotion it can be surmised he would have faced his master.

But for his simian head and the tail that rises to the back of the head, he is essentially a human figure. His hands are joined against his chest in the classic Indian gesture of greeting and devotion. He wears a dhoti with a broad belt and several hanging ornaments over his garment that create a pleasing rhythmic pattern. By contrast the torso is more sparsely adorned though there is a suggestion of a short jacket around the chest. Only a few of the ornaments and the dhoti are represented on the back which is otherwise well modelled.

Pahari, probably Mandi, circa 1770.
30.5 x 23.5 cm (with border),
23.3 x 16.5 cm (without border).
Formerly in the Sir Dorab Tata Collection, Bombay.
Karl and Meherbai Khandalavala Collection
Object of the month - March 2015

This well-finished miniature with gold shows Rama and Sita back in Ayodhya after their many tribulations described in the Ramayana. The faithful Hanuman is seen washing Rama's feet. The setting is the palace of a Hill raja in the architectural fashion of the second half of the 18th century.

Basalt
Parel, Mumbai
Maharashtra
Mid 6th Century A.D.
Gift of Smt. Kesharbai Sadanand Paralkar
96 x 41 x 18 cms. (Acc. No. 81.6/1)
Object of the month - February 2015

This image of Shiva was in active worship until very recently in the Baijanath Mahadeva temple at Parel, about 12 kilometres north of the museum. Stylistically, it is similar to the sculptures at Elephanta and belongs to the same period i.e. 5th- 6th Century A.D.

The image is carved in conformity with the then prevalent Western Indian style sculpture, which was a continuation of the Gupta idiom.

Limoges, France
Mid-16th Century
Polychrome enamel on copper
19.8 cm
Sir Ratan Tata Art Collection
Object of the month - January 2015

Basalt
Elephanta
Maharashtra
Mid 6th Century A.D.
116 x 37 cms.

Object of the month - October 2014
This is a fragment of what must have been a magnificent image of Mahishasuramardini. In the mythological story, the witty demon Mahisha troubled the Gods endlessly until Goddess Durga came to their help.

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