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Drawn from an Ancient Sculpture by Capt. Caldwell. The Tree Shoolum in the right hand & the Lingam on the forehead denote this figure to be a representation of Seevan or Iswar

Drawn from an Ancient Sculpture by Capt. Caldwell. The Tree Shoolum in the right hand & the Lingam on the forehead denote this figure to be a representation of Seevan or Iswar

Artist: Caldwell Capt.

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1800

Shelfmark: WD1065

Item number: f.18

Length: 45.7

Width: 28.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour drawing by Capt. Caldwell of a figure of Shiva, taken 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.

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 (trisula).

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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