Head of Krishna: cartoon for a mural of the Raslila

Artist: Attributed to Sahib Ram (active reign of Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, 1778–1803)

Date: ca. 1800

Culture: India (Rajasthan, Jaipur)

Medium: Ink and opaque watercolor on paper

Dimensions: H. 27 1/4 in. (69.2 cm); W. 18 1/2 in. (47 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1918

Accession Number: 18.85.2


This drawing is thought to have been a preparatory study for a mural. Although it first served as a pounce— its lines were pricked with tiny holes to allow the image to be transferred to a wall—it was later reworked into a finished drawing by Sahib Ram, who strengthened its outlines, whited out areas he wished to change, and brushed Krishna’s skin and clothing with luminous washes of watercolor. The drawing is based on an earlier work by the artist Sahib Ram that shows a dancing girl dressed as Krishna.