Krishna's Earthly Ties: Page from a Dispersed Manuscript Bivamangalastava
India (Rajasthan, Mewar)
Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper
Image: 10 1/4 x 8 in. (26 x 20.3 cm)
Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky Fund, 2006
Not on view
The content of this painting is explained by the inscription at the top from the Bivamangalastava: “On earth there are in all probability only three hitching posts for the elephant called Murari [one of the names of Krishna]: the wooden mortar, the mind of the ascetics, and the budlike breasts of milkmaids.” At the upper left, Amar Singh II is presented having this vision. The blue figure of Krishna is shown dragging a wooden mortar toward his foster mother, Yashoda, while below an ascetic sits on the riverbank near the elephant Murari. The bold red color field, contrasting river, and high horizon reference archaic painting modes.
Inscription: There is an inscription in devanagari at the top of the painting and two inscriptions on the reverse of the page. None are easily readable although the face of the painting mentions Bivamangalastava, the text by Krsnalilasukamuni (1193-1293). All three seem to be versions of a verse from the text: "On earth there are in all probability only three hitching posts for the elephant called Murari [an epithet of Krishna]; the wooden mortar, the mind of the ascetics, and the bud-like breasts of milkmaids". (From purchase report)