Krishna and the Gopis (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

ca. 1790
Works On Paper
opaque watercolor on paper
Sheet: 11 3/4 × 8 1/16 in. (29.85 × 20.48 cm)
Mat: 20 × 16 in. (50.8 × 40.64 cm)
Not on view
This lyrical painting from the hill state of Kangra shows Krishna surrounded by his adoring gopis or cow maidens. Whenever the beautiful blue-skinned god played his flute— shown in his left hand—the gopis dropped everything and rushed to him. Wearing his customary peacock-feather crown and a long garland of flowers, Krishna embraces Radha, his favorite of the gopis, while he surreptitiously reaches for another maiden. The lotuses brimming from the pond in the foreground and the blossoming vine hanging from the tree suggest the participants’ passions. A pair of cows and two cowherds unfazed by their abandonment calmly observe the divine love play.
Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Fund
"Indian Miniatures from the Collection of Mildred and W. G. Archer Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, D.C., 1963.

“Romance and Poetry in Indian Painting” Wildenstein Galleries, London, 965.

“Visions of Courtly India: The Archer Collection of Pahari Miniatures” Austin, Des Moines, Seattle, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Houston, Peoria, Denver, Kansas City, Mobile, 1976-1978.

“Indian Miniatures from the Archer and Other Private Collections," Francesca Galloway, London, 2005.
W. G. Archer, Kangra Painting. London: Faber & Faber, 1952,col. pl. 7, pp.16-17.

K. Khandalavala, Pahari Miniature Painting. Bombay: New Book Company, 1958, no. 134.

W. G. and M. Archer, Romance and Poetry in Indian Painting. London: Wildenstein Galleries, 1965, frontispiece.

W. G. and M. Archer and S. E. Lee, Indian Miniatures from the Collection of Mildred and W.G. Archer. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1963, cover.

W. G. Archer, Indian Paintings from the Punjab Hills, 2 vols. London and New York: Sotheby Parke Bernet, 1973, Kangra no. 43, vol. 1, p. 298; vol. II, p. 216

W. G. Archer, Visions of Courtly India: The Archer Collection of Pahari Miniatures. London and NewYork: International Exhibition Foundation, 1976, no. 44, pp. 80-81.

F. Galloway and Will Kwiatkowski, Indian Miniatures from the Archer and Other Private Collections. London: Francesca Galloway, 2005, no. 39.

Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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