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Krishna and Balarama within a Walled Palace: Page from a Dispersed Bhagavata Purana (Ancient Stories of Lord Vishnu)

Date:
ca. 1700
Culture:
India (Rajasthan, Bikaner)
Medium:
Ink and opaque watercolor on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 8 7/8 x 12 1/4 in. (22.5 x 31.1 cm) Mount: 11 1/4 x 14 5/8 in. (28.6 x 37.1 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky Fund, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.361
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 251
The miniaturized scale of this highly structured painting is interesting for its narrative complexity. Processions of warriors, charioteers, and horsemen depart in four directions, while at the center, inside the fortified pavilion, sit Krishna and his brother Balarama. Blurring the boundary between the narrative and the devotional use of this painting is the veneration of an image of Krishna and his beloved, Radha, by a group of women who sit in the top room of the pavilion.
Inscription: On the reverse, a short note in Hindi: "before leaving the king says goodbye," plus the notation "Line 76 (Dharay 76)," and the number "87."
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