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NANDALAL BOSE (1882-1966)
Untitled (Prepatory Drawing for Mahishasura Mardini)
graphite and gouache on paper
46¾ x 30 in. (118.8 x 76.2 cm.)
Executed circa 1944
Formerly from the collection of the artist
Thence by descent

Lot Essay

"This tour-de-force line drawing depicting the goddess Durga is a powerful modern interpretation of an ancient mythic theme. Durga represents the sum total of the power of all male gods, and she alone is able to conquer a demon who had taken on the form of a buffalo and was harassing all the inhabitants of the world. The slender, beautiful goddess grasps the head of the slain demon in one of her ten hands and impales his buffalo head on her sword as her long hair swirls behind her. Her mount, the lion, pounces upon the remains of the demon's body.
This work was made for the cover of the popular Bengali literary magazine Desh during the time of Durga Puja, a festial devoted to the goddess and the major devotional event for many Hindus in Calcutta." (Rhythms of India: The Art of Nandalal Bose, exhibition catalogue, Singapore, 2008, p. 139)

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