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Maha Deva or Siva with his insignia. Copied from a drawing of an Ancient Sculpture by Capt. Caldwell. 1802-3

Maha Deva or Siva with his insignia. Copied from a drawing of an Ancient Sculpture by Capt. Caldwell. 1802-3

Artist: Caldwell Capt.

Medium: Wash

Date: 1802

Shelfmark: WD1065

Item number: f.17

Length: 45.7

Width: 28.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour drawing by Capt. Caldwell dated 1802-03 of a sculpture of Shiva with his attributes, from an album of 56 sheets of drawings (60 folios) mainly of miscellaneous architecture and sculpture in the Deccan and S. India, dated 1793-1806 from the MacKenzie Collection. Some drawings are by MacKenzie himself, others by his draftsmen, including C. Ignatio.

Shiva is the third god of the Hindu Trinity (Trimurti); Brahma is the creator, Vishnu the Preserver while he is the Destroyer. He is also viewed as a positive force since creation folllows on the destruction. Under his auspicious and reproductive power he is worshipped in the form of the linga. In iconography he is represented with numerous arms and his weapon is the trident.

Colin Mackenzie (1754-1821) was the first Surveyor General of India. Originally from Scotland, he came to India in 1782 as a member of the Madras Engineers. He took part in numerous map surveys, mainly in Southern India, before he was appointed to the post of Surveyor General in 1815. During his surveys in South India he collected and recorded innumerable details concerning every aspect of South Indian history, language, life and religion, resulting in possibly as many as 2,000 drawings and over 8,000 copies of inscriptions.

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