Gopala (Baby Krishna)
3 5/16 × 1 3/8 × 2 5/8 in. (8.4 × 3.5 × 6.7 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Kossak
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Gopala (Baby Krishna), 6th-7th century. Stone, 3 5/16 × 1 3/8 × 2 5/8 in. (8.4 × 3.5 × 6.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Kossak, 77.203. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 77.203_PS11.jpg)
threequarter front right, 77.203_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Krishna, hero of the Bhagavata Purana epic and deity worshipped by Vaishnava Hinduism, is shown here in his infancy as Gopala, the impish "Butter Thief," holding the butter ball he stole from his stepmother. Crouching on a rectangular base, he is represented as a child crawling on his left knee. He supports his weight on his left arm while he holds the butter ball to his chest with his right hand. He is naked except for a simple girdle around his waist and a beaded necklace; the figure may have originally worn actual gold bands at his wrists and ankles. His elegant cascading curls fall in a wig-like hairdo of small round curls.
This figure is related stylistically to 6th-7th century Nepalese stone sculptures that reflect classic conventions of Gupta period (320-c. 550 A.D.) sculpture in India, such as the square face, swelling chest, coiffure of small snail-shell curls, simple ornaments, unadorned base, and a triumphant posture of bold, heroic portrayals.
This Gopala image is important as it relates tylistically to the early Kaliya and other figures and as evidence of a cult of Krishna existing in Nepal as early as the 7th century, because although it is known that Krishna was worshipped from the 5th century in India, he is represented profusely in Nepalese sculpture and painting from the 15th century onwards.
Condition: Worn. Corner of base at left foot of figure is now missing (old break). Traces of red puja on chin and yellow polychrome in crevices around eyes, hairline, and fingers.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.