Exhibitions/ Art Object

The Death of the Demoness Putana: Folio from a Bhagavata Purana Series

ca. 1610
Western India, Bikaner, Rajasthan
Opaque watercolor and ink paper
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)
Credit Line:
Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky Fund, 2002
Accession Number:
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)
Related Objects

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

Date: ca. 1700 Medium: Ink and opaque watercolor on paper Accession: 2005.361 On view in:Gallery 251

Krishna Revels with the Gopis: Page from a Dispersed Gita Govinda (Song of the Cowherds)

Date: ca. 1630–40 Medium: Opaque watercolor and silver on paper Accession: 2003.165 On view in:Gallery 251

The Gopis Plead with Krishna to Return Their Clothing, Page from a Bhagavata Purana (Ancient Stories of Lord Vishnu) series

Date: ca. 1610 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 2001.437 On view in:Gallery 251

Mahadevi, the Great Goddess

Date: ca. 1725 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and silver on paper Accession: 1996.100.2 On view in:Gallery 251

Panchama Ragini: Page from a Ragamala Series (Garland of Musical Modes)

Date: ca. 1640 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 1996.378 On view in:Gallery 251