Apparition of a Tree Spirit during Worship

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Kota, Rajasthan, India, Asia

c. 1725

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

Image: 7 7/8 × 6 1/2 inches (20 × 16.5 cm) Sheet: 10 1/2 × 8 9/16 inches (26.7 × 21.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

* Gallery 231, Asian Art, second floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994

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Two women perform puja, the act of ritual worship, to the god Shiva in his nonhuman form as a linga. They pour water, offer garlands, and touch the sacred stone. Monkeys participate by bending flowers toward the holy form, while a wish-granting spirit in the guise of a beautiful woman emerges from the branches of a tree. This painting opens a window into the world of popular faith and traditional beliefs, where nature and its vital energy play a central role.

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