Shiva and family picnic beside a burning-ground, stringing severed heads into a garland, 1790 and 2001

(downloaded Oct. 1999)

"Shiva and Parvati on a picnic: she holds Kartikkeya, while Shiva and Ganesh string together skulls into a garland. Kangra painting, 1790, from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London."

RIGHT IMAGE (a modern painting based on the earlier one):
(downloaded June 2001)

Shiva and family, c.1810-20, Guler or Mandi style: Shiva and Parvati strain bhang for drinking

(downloaded Mar. 2002)

"India, Himachal Pradesh, Guler or Mandi, attributed to Sajnu, circa 1810-20. A Domestic Scene of Shiva and Parvati with Family. The scene by a riverbank with rolling hills in the background very finely painted with Parvati and Shiva seated on a leopard skin and resting against a sleeping tiger, holding a cloth sieve separating bhang in a pot, with Ganesha delightfully hugging his mother's shoulders and suckling from her breast and Karttikeya at front holding two vessels, the family surrounded by the bull Nandi, Ganesha's rat and Karttikeya's peacock, framed in an oval panel with floral sprays against a white ground and dark floral outer border. Image: 8 x 6 in. (20 x 15 cm.).

Lot Notes: Scenes of the Holy Family in domestic bliss were a popular theme with Pahari painters. In these scenes, Shiva is transformed and humanized from the wild ascetic to a doting husband and father though still retaining trappings of his divine status. According to W.G. Archer, Indian Paintings from the Punjab Hills, 1973, vol. 1, pp. 361-66, Sajnu, native to Guler, left his Kangra patron, Sansar Chand, and came to work for Raja Isvari Sen of Mandi in 1808 after turmoil forced him from the Kangra kingdom. The distinct painting modes of the three regions culminate in this and the following lot. The oval format, decorative floral borders and flowing line are elements of the Kangra style that came into vogue in the latter 18th century, influenced from Mughal court painting. Guler style is exemplified by the jagged abstract rock formations, delicate palette, and geometrical compositions that Archer states "at times violates realism for the sake of geometric drama." Mandi ruler Raja Isvari Sen, as a devout follower of Shiva, provided the impetus for these commissions."

Parvati and Ganesh visit Shiva as he meditates in the forest; bazaar art, c.1940's

Source: ebay, Feb. 2009

Parvati serves milk to Shiva's cobra (bazaar art, c.1980's); *another modern version*

Source: ebay, Nov. 2007

Shiva and family: here the picnic scene becomes a Mughal-style garden, with no skulls or bhang (textile label, early 1900's)

Source: ebay, Nov. 2003

"Panch dev" (five gods), from the Ravi Varma studio, 1910's; *a version of the print adorned with real sequins*

Source: ebay, Oct. 2008

A version from the Ravi Varma press: "Shankar," c.1920's; *a very large scan of a version from the 1910's*; *a later version of the same popular print*; *an earlier version by Raja Ravi Varma himself*

Source: ebay, Mar. 2006

Ganesh himself has two wives, Riddhi and Siddhi, as in this domestic pose from the Ravi Varma Press, c.1910's

Source: ebay, Dec. 2008

*Shiva and Parvati pose for a formal portrait (bazaar art, 1940's)*

Source: ebay, Nov. 2006

*Another view of the ascetic Shiva and the well-dressed Parvati (bazaar art, c.1950's)*

Source: ebay, Nov. 2006

The most elaborate family portrait; bazaar art, c.1970's (a tiger or lion is Parvati's vahana); *another such view*

Source: ebay, Nov. 2007

Shiva and Parvati's less-known son, Karttikeya (or Murugan, or Skanda), is worshipped primarily in the south; his vahana is a peacock (bazaar art, c.1980's, and modern kalamkari); *Ganesh and Karttikeya together*

Source: ebay, Dec. 2007; and (downloaded Sept. 2008)

*An image of Karttikeya from the Minakshi Temple in Madurai*

(downloaded Oct. 2008)

A family portrait, bazaar art, c.1980's, in which two figures have four arms, two have two arms; *another such view*

Source: ebay, Sept. 2008

Shiva can even be depicted as an adorable child (modern bazaar art)

Source: ebay, Jan. 2006

In an unusual scene, the child Shiva meditates on Vishnu, and is blessed by him (modern bazaar art)

Source: ebay, Sept. 2008

Here, Shiva seems to merge into the form of Nandi as Ganesh meditates on him (bazaar art, c.1980's); he can also appear *as a conch shell*

Source: ebay, Sept. 2007

A religious poster that depicts Shiva's family history (c.1940's)

Source: ebay, Oct. 2006

The child Krishna joins the family in honoring the lingam (bazaar art, c.1980's)

Source: ebay, Oct. 2007

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