According to the text of Devi Mahatmayam (Glory of the Goddess), Devi manifested herself as Durga to slay the buffalo-demon Mahishasura and was thus called Mahisasuramardini.
In this painting, she is
shown with ten arms, holding various weapons gifted to her by the male gods. Of golden
complexion, she is dressed in a fine costume and extraordinary ornaments. A
nimbus surrounding her head is symbolic of her divine status.
Mahisha is seen here emerging out of his buffalo form and immediately caught
by Durga by his hair. Using the spear and the trident, she slays him. Her
mount, the lion standing beside her, feeds on the demon's blood, even as the
chopped head of the animal lies down.
The artist has used bright colours within the bounds of firmly etched black
lines. It is noteworthy that amidst such brilliant colours, the eyes - of the
goddess, the demon or the animals are stark white with large eyeballs
forming prominent and noticeable features. The painting has a twin border in
relentless bright colours.
This description by Kiranjyot.
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