Commemorative Portrait of Damodar II (1797-1826) Performing the Ceremony of the Offering of Food to the Seven Images (Sapta Svarupotsava) in 1822

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Commemorative Portrait of Damodar II (1797-1826) Performing the Ceremony of the Offering of Food to the Seven Images (Sapta Svarupotsava) in 1822

India, Rajasthan, Nathadwara, circa 1822-1850
Drawings; watercolors
Opaque watercolor, gold, and tin alloy on paper
Image: 12 x 9 3/4 in. (30.48 x 24.77 cm); Sheet: 13 x 9 7/8 in. (33.02 x 25.08 cm)
Gift of Jane Greenough Green in memory of Edward Pelton Green (AC1999.127.41)
Not currently on public view

Curator Notes

In this tribute painting associated with the Vallabhacharya Sampradaya sect (founded in the late 15th century), the chief priest Damodar II (officiated 1807-26) is shown on the proper right side of th...
In this tribute painting associated with the Vallabhacharya Sampradaya sect (founded in the late 15th century), the chief priest Damodar II (officiated 1807-26) is shown on the proper right side of the altar performing the ceremony of the Offering of Food Festival (Annakut) to the Seven Images (Sapta Svarupotsava) in 1822 at Nathdwara. The central image represents Shrinathji, a form of Krishna who is shown with his left hand upraised to symbolize his holding Mt. Govardhan aloft to protect the people of Vrindavan from a torrential thunderstorm unleashed by Indra, the king of the gods. As identified by tradition, to Shrinathji’s right are images of Shrimathuranathji and Shrimadanmohanji and his two female companions. To his left are Shridwarkanathji, Shrigokulchandranathji, and an unidentified image. In front of Shrinathji are smaller images of Shrigokulnathji, Shrinavanitapriyaji, and Shrivitthalnathji. Busts of Balakrishnaji and Mukundarayji are in the small niche on the proper left side of the altar. Behind the images is a pearl-embroidered pichhwai (painted textile). Beneath the images are the twenty-nine baskets and twenty-seven jars filled with the fifty-six types of food offered to Shrinathji. The large mound of rice represents Mt. Govardhan. Damodar II ceremonially waives an oil lamp, while his assistant priests hold peacock feather flywhisks and one holds a fan.
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Bibliography

  • Pal, Pratapaditya; Markel, Stephen; Leoshko, Janice. Pleasure Gardens of the Mind: Indian Paintings from the Jane Greenough Green Collection.  Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Mapin Publishing Pvt. Ltd.:  Los Angeles, 1993.