About this object

History of use

Indian popular religious prints have been published for nearly a century, first by German presses, later by Indian ones. The prints may take the form of calendars, posters, or simply images. The style of the representations is European. In the beginning they were Hindu images, but are now acquiring elements both of folk art and a romantic secularism. It is a living art currently influenced by the movie industry and non-Hindu religions. The images are a vehicle for advertising and are also used for religious purposes. This print is one of the earliest Indian lithographs.

Cultural context

popular religious art

Physical description

Rectangular lithograph of seven black line-drawn scenes fitted together into two horizontal rows and separated by lines; on yellowed paper matted on a coarse, fibrous, yellow-brown piece of paper. Top row, left to right: two males, one with long-necked stringed instrument, face each other; standing male with moustache faces mourning people; four-headed male stands beside fasting male kneeling on mat on right; male carrying bow, arrows and quiver runs after crowd of running male archers on right, male with long-necked, stringed instrument stands in scene's centre. Base row, left to right: two males with three males each behind them, are seated facing each other and hold onto a boy standing between them; male carrying saber strides towards same boy, crowd of males on left; lion seated on throne tears out entrails of male splayed across lion's lap. Captions in Indian script for each scene.