The Goddess worshipped by the sage Chyavana from a Tantric Devi series

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2

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At A Glance

  • Period

    ca. 1660-1670
  • Geography

    Basohli, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab Hills, India
  • Material

    Opaque watercolor on paper, gold, silver, and beetle wing
  • Dimension

    H x W (painting): 17.9 × 21.4 cm (7 1/16 × 8 7/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Artist

    Attributed to Kripal (active 1660-1690)
  • Court

    Basohli Court
  • School/Tradition

    Pahari School
  • Description

    This painting is unique in its depiction of Bhadrakali as a gentle goddess whose form, acording to the painted inscription on its reverse, "glows like a topaz." She holds discus, conch shell, lotus and mace, all associated with the god Vishnu, and not seen in other paintings from the series. It would seem that she manifested in this form to rishi Chyavana, a Vaishnava and physician of great repute, seen before her on his deer skin seat.
  • Inscriptions

    (recto) in Takri, [inscriptions in left and right board naming the sage as Cyavana and the goddess as Bhadrakali] (Sotheby, London Sale Catalog, 23 April 1997)
    (recto) in Takri, seems to be “57”
    (verso) in Sanskrit, “59”
    (verso) in Sanskrit, “59”
  • Provenance

    P. & D. Colnaghi & Co. (established 1760), London, England, method of acquisition unknown [1]
    At least 1990-?
    Hashem Khosrovani, method of acquisition unknown [2]
    Sale, London, England, Sotheby’s, "Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures," April 23, 1997, lot 8
    From 1997
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from April 23, 1997, Sotheby’s sale, London, England [3]
    [1] See Sotheby’s, "Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures” [auction catalogue], (London: Sotheby’s, April 23, 1997), p. 16, lot 8, ill.
    P. & D. Colnaghi & Co. (established 1760), commonly referred to as Colnaghi, is dealer of European paintings and prints in London, England. Around 1976, Colnaghi also sold Asian art and operated under the name Colnaghi Oriental. Established in Paris, France by the Italian pyrotechnist, Giovanni Battista Torre (d. 1780), he opened "Cabinet de Physique Expérimentale" on rue St. Honoré, which sold books, prints, and scientific instruments. In 1767, Giovanni’s son, Anthony Torre (active until 1788), moved to London and opened a shop on Market Lane, which also sold prints and scientific instruments. Following the death of the elder Torre, Paul Colnaghi (1751-1833; active until 1833), originally from Milan, Italy, began managing a new shop in 1784 along the Palais Royal, Paris. The following year, Paul moved to London and ran the Market Lane shop with Anthony Torre. Torre retired to Italy in 1788 and Paul’s brother, Dominic (1790-1879; active until 1865), became a partner around in 1810. Notable clients have included members of the British aristocracy, European royals, – such as King George IV (1762-1830; reign 1820-1830); his sister, Charlotte, Princess Royal (later Queen of Württemberg) (1766-1828); and King Louis-Philippe (1773-1850; reign 1830-1848) -- and wealthy American collectors – such as Peter Widener (1834-1915), Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840-1924), Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), and Andrew W. Mellon (1855-1937). Notable institutions the acquired works directly from Colnaghi include the British Museum, The Frick Collection, Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, the J. Paul Getty Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.
    [2] See B.N. Goswamy and Dr. Eberhard Fischer, “Pahari-Meister: Höfische Malerei aus den Bergen Nord-Indiens” (Zürich: Museum Rietberg Zürich, 1990), pp. 38-39, cat. 8, ill.
    Hashem Khosrovani is an Iranian and Swiss oil magnate and collector of Islamic and Indian art residing in London, England. Khosrovani began collecting in the 1970s and he acquired works through auctions and dealers. In 2004, he sold his collection through Sotheby’s in London. Works from his collection may be found at the Rietberg Museum, Zurich.
    [3] See Freer Gallery of Art, “Acquisition Consideration Form,” approved on April 21, 1997, copy in object file.
    Research updated June 8, 2023
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Yoga: The Art of Transformation (October 19, 2013 to January 26, 2014)
    Beyond the Legacy--Anniversary Acquisitions of the Freer Gallery of Art (October 11, 1998 to April 11, 1999)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    P. & D. Colnaghi (established 1760)
    Hashem Khosrovani
  • Origin

    Basohli, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab Hills, India
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

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