Page from a Bhagavata Purana Series: The Birth of Krishna (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

ca. 1780-1800
Indian
Paintings
Works On Paper
opaque watercolor on paper
Punjab Hills, Mandi, India
Overall: 7 5/16 × 10 3/8 in. (18.57 × 26.35 cm)
Mat: 16 × 20 in. (40.64 × 50.8 cm)
68.8.88
Not on view

After a heavenly voice prophesized the fate of King Kansa— that he would be killed by a child born to his sister Devaki— the evil king executed each of his nephews and nieces as they were born and imprisoned his sister and her husband, Vasudeva. While confined, Devaki gave birth to the blueskinned Krishna. Depicted here is the miracle surrounding the child’s delivery, when the couple’s chains fell off and, at the same time, their jailors began to snore and the cell doors magically opened. Fully grown, haloed, and bearing his usual

attributes, Krishna stands on a cosmic lotus flanked by his adoring parents. Kansa’s guards—a motley group of armed soldiers, snakes, demons, and animals—have fallen into deep slumber. This gaily colored, rather folksy picture was painted in the northwest hill state of Mandi.

Inscribed in ink lower right: "K _ (?)/ 103"
Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Gift of Paul Mellon
Dye, Joseph M. The Arts of India: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. London: Philipp Wilson, 2001. (cat. no. 145, p. 342)
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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