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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)
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