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Balamara Diverting the Course of the Yamuna River with his Plough

Asian Art

As an adult, Balarama pays a visit to the pastures of his youth and starts to drink large quantities of wine. He becomes overheated and orders the River Yamuna to come closer so he can have a swim. When the river does not move, Balarama takes his plow and digs it deep into the ground, dragging the river closer. The somewhat impulsive act is celebrated as an illustration of the god’s great strength, and in some accounts he is said to drag the river all over India, bringing much-needed water to the lands.
MEDIUM Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
  • Possible Place Made: Chamba, Punjab Hills, India
  • DATES ca. 1760–1765
    DIMENSIONS sheet: 7 5/16 x 11 3/16 in. (18.6 x 28.4 cm) image: 5 1/2 x 9 5/16 in. (14.0 x 23.7 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE A. Augustus Healy Fund and Frank L. Babbott Fund
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Indian. Balamara Diverting the Course of the Yamuna River with his Plough, ca. 1760–1765. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, sheet: 7 5/16 x 11 3/16 in. (18.6 x 28.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, A. Augustus Healy Fund and Frank L. Babbott Fund, 36.250 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 36.250_IMLS_SL2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 36.250_IMLS_SL2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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