Digital Rare Book:
Rishis in Indian Art and Literature
By Calambur Sivaramamurti
Published by Kanak Publications, New Delhi - 1981
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Gouache painting on paper, part of an album of seventy paintings of Indian deities.
A rishi, probably Vasishtha, sits on an asana. In his right hand he holds a flower and in his left is a basket filled with leaves and flower petals. Opposite him, also standing on an asana, are Kamadhenu and her calf. The celestial cow has a woman’s face and hair, multicoloured wings, the tail of a peacock and two cow’s tails. Her belly contains the ocean, here only summarily sketched. Her diminutive calf, an exact replica of its mother, is shown underneath her belly. A tree, probably the wish-fulfilling kalpavriksha, stands between the sage and Kamadhenu. On a small ledge behind the celestial cow, is placed a shankha (conch).
Text and image credit:
© Trustees of the British Museum