Krishna Adorning Radha's Hair (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

ca. 1815-20
Works On Paper
opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Punjab Hills, Kangra region, India
Sheet: 8 7/8 × 6 3/8 in. (22.54 × 16.19 cm)
Mount: 11 1/8 × 8 1/2 in. (28.26 × 21.59 cm)
Mat: 20 × 16 in. (50.8 × 40.64 cm)
Not on view
Writers and artists never tired of describing every detail of Krishna and Radha’s romantic dalliances. While titillating, these encounters were also profound theological statements about the soul’s passionate desire for union with God. Here, as part of their love play, the blue-skinned deity toys with Radha’s long, raven-black tresses and a string of pearls as she places an ornament on her ear. They sit on a soft bed of leaves beside a forest stream. Trees laden with feathery green foliage and delicate flowering creepers surround them. The delightful style of this picture is typical of the soft, lyrical painting idiom developed in the hill state of Kangra.
Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Gift of Paul Mellon
Edwin F. Bryant, ed., Krishna: The Beautiful Legend of God (London: Penguin Books, Ltd., 2003) color ill. cover (det.) and back.

Dye, Joseph M. The Arts of India: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. London: Philipp Wilson, 2001. (cat. no. 154, pp. 353-354)

Parabola The Magazine of Myth and Tradition, Vol. XX, No. 4, Winter 1995, cover ill.
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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