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Paintings of an Indian Deity

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about this collection
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In this collection, we present a series of paintings based on Indian mythology by late artist Panchugopal Dutta. The works combine a detailed study of the Hindu religion, the use of symbolism and a respectful representation of the elated female form. The artists work depict stories associated with Goddess Durga who is the source of all the powers and weapons. As per Shiva Purana and Devi Mahatmyah, Mahishasura, the son of demon Rambha, unleashed reign of terror on earth. When gods intervened, Mahishasura defeated gods and banished them from heaven. Vanquished gods went to Trideva- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. As they narrated their woeful tale, immense mass of light manifested from Lord Vishnu's mouth, which was joined by similar rays that emerged from the enraged faces of gods. This mass of light transformed into a woman. Then all the Gods gave their divine weapon to that supreme power. Adishakti re-manifested as Durga to slay Mahishasura. Armed with celestial weapons of all deities and decked with divine ornaments, Durga rode into the battle field and challenged demons for battle. Mahishasura's entire army, led by demons like Chikshur, Chamar, Asiloma, Vidalaksha, Durdhara, Durmukha, Mahahanu and many more attacked Durga at once. But Durga slew all of them with unparalleled cruelty. An enraged Mahishasura attacked Durga in guise of a buffalo. But Durga bound it with ropes. The buffalo morphed into a lion and leapt on Durga, but she beheaded it with her sword. At this, Mahishasura began to fight in form of a swordsman. Durga pinned him down with a torrent of arrows. Mahishasura now assumed form of a giant elephant and tugged at Durga's lion. Durga lopped off its trunk with her sword and freed her lion. The elephant turned into a buffalo and charged at Durga. Sipping from her wine cup, Durga flung her trident and beheaded Mahishasura, finally killing him. [Source - Wikipedia]

 
1/16. The Undefeated  (1987)   by Panchugopal Dutta | 165 views
Painting - Watercolor on Canvas , 36 inch x 24 inch


The Undefeated (Aparajita) is a 1987 painting by Panchugopal Dutta depicting the victory of the Indian goddess Durga over the demon Mahisasur (meaning a demon in the form of a buffalo). Goddess Durga (Hindustani pronunciation: [ˈd̪uːrɡaː]; Sanskrit: दुर्गा), meaning "the inaccessible" or "the invincible"; durga) is the most popular incarnation of Devi and one of the main forms of the Goddess Shakti in the Hindu pantheon. This is a 3 ft x 2 ft water color on canvas painting, stretched and framed. Currently at the artist's personal collection. This painting was exhibited for the first time at the Indian Academy of Fine Arts in the 1980s.

The Undefeated
 
2/16. Shiv Parvati  (1961)   by Panchugopal Dutta | 195 views
Painting - Watercolor on Canned Paper , 10.4 inch x 7.1 inch


This is an early career painting (1961) by artist Panchugopal Dutta. The painting depicts Shiv and Parvati on the same form. Shiv is bluish greyish with his throat blue from the poison that he has consumed. Parvati is yellowish and forms the other half of the face. Similar representation of Shiva and Parvati can be seen in the Ardhanarishvara sculpture found in the Elephanta Caves. The sculpture's left is female and the right is male, depicting Parvati and Shiva. This is a 26.5 cm x 18 cm watercolor on canned paper work painted using the 'wash style' pioneered by Abanindranath Tagor, a nephew of the Indian Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore.

Shiv Parvati
 
3/16. Aparajita  (1966)   by Panchugopal Dutta | 178 views
Painting - Water Color on Nepali paper on Brown paper , 17.3 inch x 26 inch


Another depiction of Goddess Durga (ref. Indian Mythology) where the Buffalo demon is holding her feet. One look will not do it justice-it would be for someone who can keep looking at it and observe a new detail every time. Someone who enjoys looking at the painting from time to time will find it like a kaleidoscope-every time there can be a new angle of looking at it and so a different perspective. This is an early career work by the artist while still in Sodepur, West Bengal. Painting has small wave on top left but no major damages otherwise.

Aparajita
 
4/16. Sri Sri Chandi  (1984)   by Panchugopal Dutta | 255 views
Painting - Watercolor on Canvas , 36 inch x 24 inch


'Sri Sri Chandi' (1984) is a watercolor on canvas painting by artist Panchugopal Dutta. Drawing references and insights from the book 'Sri Chandi', the painting depicts goddess Durga in the middle of her battle with the Hindu mythological demon 'Mahisasura'. Legend has it that during the course of the unending battle with the demon, goddess durga started feeling dizzy. So she asked her Lion to roar louder so that the demon would not realize her tiredness. In the meantime, she refreshes herself with 'sura'. Per wikipedia, in Buddhist texts sura is mentioned as one of intoxicating drinks, along with (Pali) meraya and majja (maybe equivalent of Sanskrit madhu, mead or hydromel). The 'asura', demon is surprised by this act as he is already on the verge of defeat. His previous facade of terror (seen in the mask / shield he holds) is replaced by a modest one as he prepares for defeat. Also the holding of the sword in the horizontal position is indicative of a closing battle. This painting was exhibited at the Academy of Fine Arts in the 80s.

Sri Sri Chandi
 
5/16. Mahashunye Mahisasurmardini by Panchugopal Dutta | 127 views

In this painting, artist Panchugopal Dutta depicts the confrontation between the Hindu goddess goddess Durga with Mahisasur (the demon who hides within the buffalo) somewhere deep in the bosom of the distant galaxies. The star studded backdrop of an endless sky, the scattering of light of many colors and the floating buffalo are all indicative of space. Panchogopal Dutta adds minute details to this painting as can be seen in the depiction of chamunda in the center with ear rings of human skull ; lord shiva with a blue lotus symbolic of okalbodhan ; ten different arms in the ten hands of Durga. The unkempt hair of both Durga and Chamunda seem intentional and appropriate of a battle field. This is a watercolor / tempura work on mount board, framed. This painting has a dimension of 68 cm x 44 cm (unframed) and 73 cm x 49 cm (framed) and is in excellent condition.

Mahashunye Mahisasurmardini
 
6/16. Prakriti Durga  (1989)   by Panchugopal Dutta | 137 views
Painting - Watercolor on Markin Cloth , 16.5 inch x 24 inch


Prakriti Durga (1989) is a watercolor on Markin cloth on Masonite board work by Panchugopal Dutta. The painting depicts an old Neem tree resembling the human form of goddess Durga on her Lion with her ten hands spread as she battles the demon 'Mahisasur' (Mythology). The painting is lightly coated with Fevicol to prevent damage from exposure to sunlight and moisture.

Prakriti Durga
 
7/16. Shiv Parvati  (2012)   by Panchugopal Dutta | 176 views
Painting - Water Color on hand Made Paper , 8.7 inch x 6.7 inch


A depiction of Shiva and Durga in their symbolic forms.

Shiv Parvati
 
8/16. Durga  (1995)   by Panchugopal Dutta | 181 views
Painting - Watercolor on Markin Cloth on Masonite Board, Framed , 72 inch x 48 inch


A depiction of Durga along with her creators, Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva. Per Wikipedia : Durga (Hindustani pronunciation: [ˈd̪uːrɡaː]; Sanskrit: दुर्गा), meaning "the inaccessible" or "the invincible", is the most popular incarnation of Devi and one of the main forms of the Goddess Shakti in the Hindu pantheon. Durga is the original manifested form of Mother Adi-Parashakti. The Devi Gita, also known as Parvati Gita, declares her to be the greatest Goddess. Thus, she is considered the supreme goddess and primary deity in Shaktism, occupying a place similar to Lord Krishna in Vaishnavism. According to Skanda Purana, the goddess Parvati accounted the name "Durga" after she killed the demon Durgamaasura. Goddess Parvati is considered to be the complete incarnation of Adi Parashakti or Goddess Durga, with all other goddesses being her incarnations or manifestations. Adi Parashakti or Mahadevi, the supreme power, is called Durga Shakti as per Devi-Mahatmya. Adi Parashakti or Devi Durga is a Hindu concept of the Ultimate Shakti or Mahashakti, the ultimate power inherent in all Creation. This is especially prevalent in the Shakta denomination within Hinduism, which worships the Goddess Devi in all her manifestations.

Durga
 
9/16. Aparajita  (1976)   by Panchugopal Dutta | 204 views
Painting - Watercolor on Canvas , 36 inch x 24 inch


'Aparajita' (1976) meaning 'The Undefeated' is a watercolor on canvas painting by the Indian artist Panchugopal Dutta. The painting depicts Goddess Durga after her victory over 'Mahisasura' meaning the demon who dwelt in the body of the buffalo. Seen here is the Goddess sitting on a white lotus, symbolic of peace while Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv looks on from the heavens. Minute damage from water is visible on the digital image. This painting has been exhibited at the Academy of Fine Arts, India.

Aparajita
 
10/16. Shanti Surupa  (1981)   by Panchugopal Dutta | 174 views
Painting - Watercolor Markin Cloth , 36 inch x 24 inch


'Shanti Surupa' (1981 ) meaning 'Peace Embodied' is a watercolor markin cloth work by artist Panchugopal Dutta. The painting depicts goddess Durga in her house with her family comprising of Laksmi (goddess of wealth), Saraswati (goddess of knowledge), Ganesha (god of good beginnings) and Karthik (god of war) on her either sides, Lord Shiva on top and Asura and her Lion below her. Painting has slight water stain on bottom as visible in the digital image. This painting was exhibited at the Academy of Fine Arts.

Shanti Surupa







concluding remarks

Panchugopal Dutta's work represent the undercurrent of the Indian society in general and that of the Bengali community in particular. Each painting is meticulously created with figurative and symbolic details that are described in the scriptures and the Hindu texts such as 'Sri Sri Chandi' and others. A study of the artist's work begs as much rigor as would be required of a researcher in the history of the Hindu religion, the role of symbolism and a respectful representation of the elated female form.

Written By PastelSpace Curate


 


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