Enthroned Four-Armed Female Deity with Two Fly-Whisk Bearers, India, Rajasthan, 20th century. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of James E. Robinson III in honor of Stuart Cary Welch and Alve John Erickson, 1997.236. Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Unknown Artist
Hindu Goddess Ganga with Two Female Attendants Carrying Fly-Whisks
Work Type
20th century
Creation Place: South Asia, India, Rajasthan
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper; Rajput Style
40 x 30 cm (15 3/4 x 11 13/16 in.)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of James E. Robinson III in honor of Stuart Cary Welch and Alve John Erickson
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Seated with legs folded on a golden throne is the Hindu goddess Ganga, the divine personification of the River Ganges. She wears a chaniya choli, a type of dress which consists of a long golden skirt and a yellow crop top decorated with flowers and gold trim. She wears an elaborate golden crown, earrings, and a large pendant necklace. Ganga bears four arms: her lower left has her palm facing down; her upper left is bent upward and hold a lotus blossom; her lower right has her palm facing upward; her upper right is bent upward and holds a gold water jug. A bright green halo with a gold border surrounds her head, above which is a floating umbrella (chhatri). The throne floats on water, which is covered in lotuses. Four makara, a crocodile-like creature of Hindu mythology and Ganga’s mount, recline by each throne leg. Behind a blue decorative fence with a gold frame and flanking either side are two female attendants holding fly-whisks above their heads. The background is an orange wall decorated with pairs of rose buds. An ochre curtain with gold flowers and a green border is rolled up at the top. The painting is framed by a yellow inner border and a red outer border. Rajput Style.
Exhibition History

Women in South Asian Art, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/26/2017 - 01/07/2018

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu