Two Hindu ascetics or holy men, one performing self-torture. Gouache painting by an artist of Thanjavur (Tanjore), ca. 1800 (?).
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The men wear white loincloths, turbans decorated with a yellow feather, armlets, and a piece of cloth draped over their left shoulders; they have white tilaka (religious markings) on their upper bodies and their foreheads are painted white with a vermilion dot. One man is bleeding from his left thigh and is cutting into his right thigh with a small knife, while pouring water (?) on the wound. The other man carries an axe over his right shoulder