Posted on: 2 October 2015

Digital Rare Book:
The Secret of Death (from the Sanskrit) : With some collected poems
By Sir Edwin Arnold (1832-1904)
Published by Roberts Brothers, Boston - 1885

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Chromoxylograph, the majestic figure of the Hindu god Shiva sits alone in a meditative pose as he mourns the death of his wife, Uma. The scene is painted in shades of grey. The chromoxylograph was probably printed in Japan from wood-blocks.

The combination of watercolour and grey wash creates subtle changes in the different shades of grey, giving an overall sense of mist.

The artist Abanindranath Tagore (1871 - 1951) was the pioneer and leading exponent of the Bengal School of Art which flourished between 1905 and 1920. In his paintings, he sought to counter the influence of Western art as taught in art schools under the British Raj, by modernizing indigenous Moghul and Rajput traditions. His work became so influential that it was eventually accepted and regarded as a national Indian style.

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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Edwin Arnold - Best known for his work "The Light of Asia" - Silent Movie Made about " Buddha" - Light of Asia (1925)

Cast: Seeta Devi , Himansu Rai , Sarada Ukil , Ranibala , Prafulla Roy , Modhu Bose , Mrinalini Devi , Sunalini Devi Directors: Franz Osten , Himansu Rai

what a rare painting!

amazing ! thanks for sharing


Very expressive in light colours.

No... no... "Shiva sits alone in a meditative pose as he mourns the death of his wife, Uma..."????? It is Sati who was his first consort and who self-annihilated herself at the Yajna of her father, Daksh.She was re-born, as Uma, a daughter to Himalaya and Maina.