Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya




South India

13th – 14th century CE

B 127

Bhudevi or the goddess Earth is known in Rgveda as Prithivi and is praised in several hymns mainly in reverence for her awesome stability and apparently inexhaustible fecundity. In Brahmana literature she is described as the goddess created by Prajapati as a result of his austerities and immense energy. Later she became an important aspect of Vaishnava mythology. Whenever Bhudevi is oppressed by certain demon, Vishnu, attentive to the welfare of the earth, assumes the appropriate form like Varaha and rescues the Earth from her predicament. Iconographically, it is also common to see Vishnu flanked by Shridevi on one side and Bhudevi on the other.


Madonna and Child with an Angel, the Infant St. John the Baptist and St. Jerome

Marco d’Oggiono (c.1467 – 1524)

Oil on panel

Sir Ratan Tata Art Collection


Probably born in Milan, Marco d’Oggiono was associated with Leonardo da Vinci by the early 1490s and became one of his principal and most successful followers. He received important commissions in Milan, Venice and Liguria and died a wealthy man. In this large panel, Leonardo’s influence is most evident in the figural types and in their soft, or sfumato, or modeling. The composition echoes the master’s celebrated Madonna of the Rocks of the mid-1480s, most directly in the pose of the infant Baptist. The gaunt, long skull of St. Jerome further evokes many of Leonardo’s old, ascetic types, such as the apostle St. Simon at the far right of his Last Supper (c. 1495 – 97), which Marco himself copied.

A much smaller (72 x 58cm) and weaker version of this painting with a different landscape background was in the New York trade. It has not been determined whether it, or more likely the Tata panel, can be identified with a painting auctioned in London in 1830 as Marco d’Oggiono, “The Holy Family, with an angel and St. John, in a Landscape. This Picture was a principal object in a Cause recently tried at Westminster Hall: Michelli v. Solly”


Children's Party

Henry Schwiering (?)

Engraved by Robert Havell Junior

Oil on Canvas

Sir D. J. Tata Collection


The painting shows many playful children and adults gathered around a table under a pergola. Children are engrossed in various activities like luring a dog, teasing their companions, eating and drinking, etc.The light coming through the vines creates a pleasant and dappled effect of light and shadows while use of various greens with rapid application appears pleasant.


A View of Chandpal Ghat

Drawn by James Baillie Fraser (1783-1856)

Engraved by Robert Havell Junior

Coloured Aquatint

Published in London, 1826

H 36.5 x L 54.4 cms


This is plate 1 from James Baillie Fraser's 'Views of Calcutta and its Environs'. Fraser arrived in Calcutta in 1814 and in six years had produced these animated sketches of the busy city, published later as a collection of twenty-four superbly aquatinted plates.

This first plate in the collection extends from the west end of the city, where Esplanade Row meets the River Hooghly. It was the main landing place for visitors to the fast-growing city. The chunam (lime) - covered buildings, shining brightly in the sunshine, as here, were an exciting introduction to the city.


Kali Fighting Demons

Folio from an illustrated manuscript of the Devi Mahatmya of the Markandeya Purana

Pahari, Guler


Karl and Meherbai Khandalavala Collection


This painting illustrates one of the most dramatic moments described in the Devi Mahatmya of the Markandeya Purana(canto 87).The Great Goddess manifested a fierce form of herself known a Kali, to destroy two invincible demons–Chanda and Munda. When the asura army fell into disarray as she “fell upon the great asuras impetuously dealing slaughter among the host”, Chanda and Munda rushed against her. The foreground depicts the finale of the episode.

This folio is one of the several sets of the Devi Mahatmya series produced by the Guler artists around 1780. They are obviously traced from the same charba as their basic composition is the same, the difference being only in detailing and palette.






20th century

Gift of Mrs. Rekha Naik in memory of her husband Dr. Deepak Naik


Ganesha, in spite of his elephantine head with blinking small eyes on either side of his elastic trunk, short arms, bulging girth overhanging his stunted legs is universally adored by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains.

He is the lord of obstacles (Vighnesvara) and aso the remover (Vighnahara or Vighnanasin) of the same. Hence he is propitiated, both by men and gods, at the commencement of all ceremonies. As a god of wisdom he is invoked in the beginning of any writing to insure literary success.