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Krishna and Balarama on Their way to Mathura, Folio from a Dispersed Bhagavata Purana Series

Asian Art

This is an illustration from the Bhagavata Purana, a lengthy Hindu scripture dedicated to the god Krishna, who is said to have lived on earth as a prince. It depicts an episode from Krishna’s youth, much of which was spent in hiding in the cowherding community of Vrindavan. Eventually he had to leave this idyllic rural setting and return to his family’s kingdom at Mathura, where his evil uncle was ruling unjustly. Krishna (with blue skin) is shown here at the far right with his brother, Balarama (with white skin), riding an oxcart on their way to Mathura. They are accompanied by a group of devotees and along the way encounter religious ascetics, some of whom are bathing in the river.
MEDIUM Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
  • Place Made: Punjab Hills, India
  • DATES ca. 1725
    DIMENSIONS sheet: 9 1/2 x 12 in. (24.1 x 30.5 cm) image: 8 x 10 5/8 in. (20.3 x 27.0 cm)  (show scale)
    INSCRIPTIONS On reverse: The cowherds became amused (or, inquisitive?) Accompanied by (cowherds) they (Balarama and Krishna) went to Ambikavan. To the Lord. . . .They worshipped the Devi who is the mistress of Ambikavan with great devotion. Passage is numbered 77. From catalogue: Verso, at center, near lower edge, in black ink, in Devanagari script: 77
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Paul E. Manheim
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Indian. Krishna and Balarama on Their way to Mathura, Folio from a Dispersed Bhagavata Purana Series, ca. 1725. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, sheet: 9 1/2 x 12 in. (24.1 x 30.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Paul E. Manheim, 69.125.4 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 69.125.4_after_treatment_IMLS_SL2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 69.125.4_after_treatment_IMLS_SL2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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