Valerie J Roebuck vjroebuck at MACUNLIMITED.NET
Mon Jan 26 07:31:54 UTC 2009

What an interesting painting! This version is quite different from 
the ones I was thinking of, which had the demon body emerging upwards 
from the conch-shell. Moreover they were Avatara scenes, while this 
one appears to be of a series of incidents from the life of Krsna.

Valerie J Roebuck

At 9:08 am +0200 26/1/09, Alexandra Vandergeer wrote:
>The demon then seems more like some sort of hybrid of mainland taxa, not
>much 'invertebrate' parts. Maybe the idea is that the demon merely hides
>in the/a conch, like some mini-lobsters do? That would explain the tiny
>horns, though horns are of course an excellent feature of any demon. The
>whole animal gives the impression of a horned macaque. Even the number of
>legs is non-invertebate.
>Thanks for the enlarged version!
>>  Dan Ehnbom is the curator of the South Asia collection at the
>>  University of Virginia Museum. I told him about our discussion
>>  about this painting and asked him to comment. He sent me a better
>>  image of the painting, which I have posted to
>>, and
>>  offered this comment:
>>  <begin quote>
>>  Here is a better picture of it.  Sankhasura is the demonic figure
>>  to the left of center at the bottom.  Because Indian art, as
>>  Coomaraswamy said, is an art of statement rather than
>>  description, he is not very conch-like, except perhaps for the
>>  blob-like form on his abdomen.
>>  Possibly this is the demon assuming his true form at the moment
>>  of his death.
>>  <end quote>
>>  Bob Hueckstedt
>>  Valerie J Roebuck wrote:
>>>  I can't see any conch-demon in this picture. The nearly central
>>  figure
>>>  in the water looks like a demon with an ass's head or similar,
>>>  plunging head first.
>>>  Valerie J Roebuck
>>>  At 12:57 pm -0800 23/1/09, Stefan Baums wrote:
>>>>  Dear Valerie et al.,
>>>>>  The conch-demon is S'ankhaasura ... depicted in painted sets
>>  of
>>>>>  Avataras from the 18th-19th century, but I haven't got an
>>  example to
>>>>>  hand.
>>>>  here is an example from the University of Virginia Art Museum
>>  (second
>>>>  image from the top):
>>  /Asi
>>>>  an/India.html
>>>>  Unfortunately rather small, and I'm not sure I see the conch,
>>  unless
>>>>  it is the orange object floating in the river in the bottom
>>  left of
>>>>  the painting.
>>>>  All best,
>>>>  Stefan
>>>>  --
>>>>  Stefan Baums
>>>>  Asian Languages and Literature
>>>>  University of Washington

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list