Size: 19.8 x 14.8 in (50.3 x 37.6 cm)
Artist: Balkrishna Joshi
Date of printing: 1878
This chromolithograph is of prime importance as for the first time gods were painted like normal upper class men and women. Shiva-Shankar, his wife Parvati and their son Ganesha with an elephant head look like a simple human family posing for a group portrait in a photographer’s studio in front of a mountainous landscape painted in trompe-l’oeil. Wishing to show Shiva as a man, the artist hid his two rear arms behind Parvati’s shoulder and behind Ganesha’s large ear.
After this naturalist family portrait, Hindu popular iconography often represented gods and goddess as ordinary men and women. Thirty years later, the illustrious Ravi Varma Press also adopted the same disposition of this as a large size advertisement poster printed for
Sunlight Soap Lever.