Asian Art

Shaiva ascetic on Mount Kailasa

1750

Opaque watercolor on paper

sheet: 7 11/16 × 5 1/8 in. (19.5 × 13 cm)
image: 6 3/16 × 4 5/8 in. (15.7 × 11.8 cm)
Katharine Ordway Collection
1980.12.68

This image of a Shaiva ascetic features a similar treatment of abstracted mountains and an undifferentiated green background as other ascetic portraits in the same series (see 1980.12.58). However, the details of the human figure have changed. This ascetic has his hair in matted dreadlocks and holds a prayer bead instead of a ladle used for sacrifice. His hand gestures and downward gaze suggest that he is retiring from meditation on the prayer beads, reflecting inward rather than beholding what lies externally.

Geography: 
India
Culture: 
Indian
Period: 
18th century
Classification: 
Paintings
Provenance: 

Katharine Ordway (1899–1979), Weston, Conn.; bequeathed to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1980

Bibliography: 

Lesley K. Baier, The Katharine Ordway Collection, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1983), 114, no. 99.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.