Sculpture of Lakshmi at Jajpur, Orissa
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
Pen and ink drawing of a sculpture of Lakshmi with Garuda at Jajpur in Orissa, by an anonymous artist, taken from an album of 37 drawings (43 folios) of sculpture at Jajpur, Puri, Bezwada and Sitanagar made during a journey from Bengal through Orissa to the Coromandel Coast, part of the MacKenzie Collection, dated 1815. Colin MacKenzie (1754-1821) joined the East India Company as an engineer at the age of 28 and spent the majority of his career in India. He used the salary he earned from his military career as a Captain, Major and finally a Colonel to finance his research into the history and religion of Indian and Javan culture, collecting many sketches and drawings along the way. Jajpur is a sacred pilgrimage site in Orissa that is situated on the Vaitarani River. There are numerous temples at the site, the most important being the shrine of the mother Goddess Viraja (Durga), and the shrine to Varaha, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu as a boar. This drawing depicts a figure of Lakshmi, the goddess of beauty and consort of Vishnu, accompanied by Garuda, the god's vehicle. Lakshmi emerged from the cosmic waters at the beginning of the creation floating on a lotus flower.