Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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The Death of the Demoness Putana: Folio from a Bhagavata Purana Series

Date:
ca. 1610
Culture:
Western India, Bikaner, Rajasthan
Medium:
Opaque watercolor and ink paper
Dimensions:
Image: 6 5/8 × 9 5/8 in. (16.8 × 24.4 cm) Sheet: 9 5/8 × 11 7/8 in. (24.4 × 30.2 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky Fund, 2002
Accession Number:
2002.176
Not on view
This painting depicts a famous scene from the many childhood exploits of Krishna, a much-loved avatar of Vishnu. The infant Krishna, while in the protective care of pastoral foster parents, encountered numerous dangers sent by the evil king Kamsa. In this scene, a demon, disguised as a wet nurse, is sent to kill Krishna with her poisonous milk. Krishna discovers her intention and suckles her until she expires. Krishna’s half-brother Balarama and their mothers look on in astonishment. This is one of many stories that portray Krishna as the destroyer of evil.
Inscription: Inscribed in devanagari on verso: putanabadha 22; also another similar inscription, a number (18), and deleted stamp (of Bikaner State)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Gods and Demons," 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Krishna: Mythology and Worship," February 9, 2004–May 9, 2004.

New York. Asia Society. "In the Realm of Gods and Kings: Arts of India, Selections from the Polsky Collections and The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 14, 2004–December 10, 2004.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "New Acquisitions in Perspective," 2006.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Gods and Demons," November 14, 2006–March 4, 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Krishna: Mythology and Worship," March 1, 2008–July 28, 2008.

Nashville. Frist Center for the Visual Arts. "Vishnu: India's Blue-Skinned Savior," February 25, 2011–May 29, 2011.

New York. Brooklyn Museum. "Vishnu: India's Blue-Skinned Savior," June 24, 2011–August 18, 2011.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Lyrical Visions: Paintings from North India," December 3, 2011–May 28, 2011.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Encountering Vishnu: The Lion Avatar in Indian Temple Drama," December 19, 2015–June 5, 2016.

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