Indian and Himalayan Art
The Goddess ChandiMade in Calcutta (present-day Kolkata), West Bengal, India, Asia
Late 19th century
Artist/maker unknown, India
Transparent and opaque watercolors on paper
Currently not on view
1968-184-24Gift of Stella Kramrisch, 1968
LabelChandi is a local goddess with ancient roots and a strong following in Bengal. Her elaborate story is told in the narrative compilation known as the Mangalkavya, which also tells of the goddess Manasa. She is often represented seated upon a lotus with an elephant, an image that overlaps with depictions of the more widely venerated goddess Parvati holding her elephant-headed son Ganesha. Merging aspects of Chandi's identity with other goddesses may have been part of a strategy to built legitimacy for this regional deity by associating her with the larger pan-Indic pantheon.