Ten-armed Mahishasura Mardini
On View: Asian Galleries, Arts of South Asia, 2nd floor
Bequest of Dr. Samuel Eilenberg
Prior to 1998, provenance not yet documented; by 1998, acquired by Samuel Eilenberg of New York; 1998, bequeathed by Samuel Eilenberg to the Brooklyn Museum; April 6, 2021, accessioned by the Brooklyn Museum.
The goddess Durga shown in her role as Mahishasura Mardini, the Slayer of the Demon Mahisha. The goddess is shown in the moment of her victory over the demon, who hid in the body of a waterbuffalo. Durga stands with one foot on her tiger companion and one foot on the body of the buffalo. She holds a different weapon in each of her ten hands, except for her lowest left hand, which holds the demon's long hair. She stabs the demon with a long spear, held in one of the right hands. The demon steps out from the body of the buffalo, which the goddess has beheaded. The buffalo head stands at the center front of the platform on which the action takes place. The platform is elevated on a stepped plinth standing on a flat base. Around the goddess is an arched halo with pointed finial flanked by small peacocks. The figure of Durga is slim, with her spider-like arms arranged around her like rays of the sun. Durga images in a variety of styles but with identical iconography have been attributed to Bihar, Bengal, Orissa, and Bangladesh.
Ten-armed Mahishasura Mardini, 18th-19th century. Brass, height: 13 in. (33.0 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Dr. Samuel Eilenberg, 2021.1.73 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.2021.1.73.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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