'Nag devata - Kajuraya'
Artist: Maisey, Frederick Charles (1825-1892)
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil drawing by Frederick Charles Maisey of a serpent divinity or Nag devata from Khajuraho, dated 1845-1852.
Khajuraho was the capital of the Chandella dynasty who ascended to the power in the 10th -11th centuries in Central India. The Chandellas were great builders and adorned the site with many tanks and Hindu and Jain temples. These represent the culmination of the Nagara or North Indian style of architecture for their complex schemes as well as the splendid sculptures that cover them which are among the masterpieces of Indian art. This drawing depicts a figure a serpent divinity, a naga. The snake (cobra) is venerated as a nature deity in ancient India. Snakes are associated with water, fertility and the underground.