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

Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
ca. 1590–95
Geography:
present-day Pakistan, probably Lahore
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Page: 13 3/4 x 5 1/8 in. (34.9 x 13 cm) Painting: 11 1/2 x 7 7/16 in. (29.2 x 18.9 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Purchase, Edward C. Moore Jr. Gift, 1928
Accession Number:
28.63.2
  • Description

    The Harivamsa recounts the story of Krishna, one of the incarnations of the Hindu god Vishnu. In this battle scene, Krishna, dressed in yellow and holding his discus, stands atop a mountain. Carrying his own attributes of the plow and pestle, Krishna’s older brother Balarama strikes a soldier of the opposing army. This manuscript, commissioned by the Mughal emperor Akbar (r. 1556–1606), is one of many examples of Hindu texts that were translated and illustrated during Akbar’s reign, as the Emperor took a keen interest in the traditions and stories of other religious groups in India, founding a translation center to facilitate the spread of knowledge.

  • Provenance

    [ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, until 1928; sold to MMA]

  • See also
    What
    Where
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
448184:1

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