Art/ Collection/ Art Object

"Krishna and Balarma Fighting the Enemy", Folio from a Harivamsa (The Legend of Hari (Krishna))

Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
ca. 1590–95
present-day Pakistan, probably Lahore
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Page: 13 9/16 x 9 3/16 in. (34.5 x 23.3 cm) Painting: 11 9/16 x 7 3/8 in. (29.3 x 18.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Edward C. Moore Jr. Gift, 1928
Accession Number:
Not on view
A flurry of warriors clash in this epic scene from the Persian translation of the Hindu classic, the Harivamsa. Krishna, on the left, stands in a chariot and is about to release an arrow. His arrow is intended for a soldier in black and gold armour who stands in a chariot, wielding a shield and sword. Krishna is dressed in yellow garments, a body shield, and sports a crown. Below him, and closer to the left corner, is Balarama, who is fighting using his plow and pestle. He is dressed in blue, and wears a crown. The combat scene is a melee of clashing swords, flying banners, and strewn bodies. The dynamic action of the battle scene is typical of the Akbar period, while the style of the rocks still shows dependence on Persian painting.
[ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, until 1928; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Indian Court Painting," March 25, 1997–July 6, 1997.

Kossak, Steven M., ed. Indian Court Painting 16th–19th century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997. no. 11, p. 38, ill. (color).

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