This painting, a characteristic example of Mysore art, represents the legendary figure Virabhadra, one of the rarer themes of Indian mythology. Virabhadra was one of the most trusted guards and generals of Shiva and in his personal capacity a protector of sages. The 'puranas' attribute to Virabhadra a number of exploits against demons and the benevolent acts performed for protecting the holy ones. As an auspicious being Virabhadra is immensely popular with Shaivite devotees of South India and as such and as much with South Indian artists. In this massive representation Virabhadra has a crusader's posture and demeanour and a benevolent look on his face.