Sage Kashyapa is one of the saptarshees of Rgveda and the most ancient of the rshees. The name may also refer to more than one personality which, in the annals of history, have culminated into one formidable figure. In the Tanjore painting that you see on this page, Sage Kashyap is seated within a temple precinct, engaged in the worship of Kamadhenu.
Kamadhenu is a bovine deity from the Hindu pantheon. She is an embodiment of the holiness prevailing in the gentle animal, infinitely loving and giving, a selfless and compassionate mother to us all. Her pristine body predominates the surface area of the canvas. On Her skin are the images of numerous Hindu deities, each executed in metallic gesso-work which is the hallmark of Tanjore paintings. A tiny calf mouths the teats of Kamadhenu. From the stance of Her tail and the gaze of Her shapely eyes, She embodies steadiness and patience and selflessness.
A vibrant, green canopy at the upper right corner of the canvas complements all the gold in this painting.
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