In the current work, Husain’s Living Goddess is depicted atop a tower, flanked by a variety of animal forms. This building is likely to allude to the Kumari Ghar, the palace in which the Nepalese goddess resides. In the palace’s courtyard, the community gathers in the hope that they will catch a glimpse of the Kumari from her window above. Husain perhaps makes further reference to the Kumari tradition, through the snake which joins the goddess on her tower. Before a girl is selected for worship, it is said her mother dreams of a red serpent.
With its richly coloured shapes and intriguing motifs, this painting is an excellent example of Husain’s visually arresting and symbolically charged oeuvre.
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