Shiva is seated in royal ease upon a tiger skin, holding a sitar. The work depicts the god catching the river Ganges in his matted hair. According to myth, the Ganges was brought down from heaven by a powerful sage. When it became clear that the force of the river's waters would wreak havoc on the earth, Shiva saved the world by catching the water as it fell in his matted hair. The abstract line in this Kalighat work has achieved a particularly successful pattern of water around the seated deity.