108 - Deity

The 108 paintings presented in this book are a catalogue of the principal Hindu deities most widely celebrated in southern India. They are beautifully rendered and with precise iconographic art, some of which display localized features that reference place-specific moments in legends celebrated in the region. Tamil Nadu had an important religious painting tradition, much of it applied to the plastered interiors of temple walls and ceilings and temple clothes. Neither have survived well in the monsoonal climate of southern India. This album, painted in Madurai in 1837 and dispatched soon after to the USA, has escaped these depredations. It is in superb condition and a witness to the masterful skill and creativity of the hereditary painters of Madurai in the early 19th century.

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