Bhadrakali within the Rising Sun

Artist/maker unknown, Indianc. 1660-1670

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia, United States

The Great Goddess (Devi), worshiped across India, has many names and many forms. Here, Devi appears at the core of a gleaming golden sun that shines from a templelike frame. In the late seventeenth to early eighteenth century, painters from Himachal Pradesh sometimes pasted little pieces of the shell of iridescent beetles onto their paintings as additional ornamentation. This precious substance-combined with the lavish use of gold and bright, rare pigments-made these works luxury goods in their own right. This painting is the first page of a spectacular series that reveals the multiplicity of the Great Goddess through both words and images.


  • Title: Bhadrakali within the Rising Sun
  • Date Created: c. 1660-1670
  • Location: Nurpur, Himachal Pradesh, India, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Physical Dimensions: w8.31 x h8.75 in (Overall)
  • Provenance: 125th Anniversary Acquisition. Alvin O. Bellak Collection, 2004
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: © 2014 Philadelphia Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
  • External Link: Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Medium: Opaque watercolor, gold, silver-colored paint, and beetle-wing cases on paper
  • or made in: Basohli, Jammu and Kashmir, India
  • Manuscript/Series/Book Title: From a "Tantric Devi" series
  • Artist/Maker: Artist/maker unknown, Indian

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