Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Krishna Subduing Kaliya, the Snake Demon: Folio from a Bhagavata Purana Series

Artist:
First generation after Manaku and Nainsukh
Date:
ca. 1785
Culture:
Northern India, Garwhal, Himachal Pradesh
Medium:
Opaque watercolor and ink on paper
Dimensions:
8 x 10 1/2 in. (20.3 x 26.7 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1927
Accession Number:
27.37
Not on view
In this celebrated scene vividly described in the Bhagavata Purana, Krishna battles Kaliya, a hundred-headed serpent (naga) who was poisoning the river Yamuna. At first, Krishna was ensnared in the demon’s mighty coils, but he sprang free by summoning the power of the universe and trapping the snake beneath his foot. The snake submitted to Krishna’s supreme powers and the river was purified. Kaliya’s wives, seen here with serpent bodies, pleaded with Krishna to show mercy to their husband, which he granted. The dramatic composition foregrounds the beauty and power of Krishna to restore order in the world of men.
Inscription: On back in black ink: "No. 1 Krishna hunting at Ayodha. below a signature(?) R. Raj(?); near bottom of leaf".

Marking: There appears to be an effaced, square seal.
New York. Asia House Gallery. "Rajput Painting," November 29, 1960–January 30, 1961.

Rochester Memorial Art Gallery. "The Art of India," April 7, 1961–April 30, 1961.

Durham. Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. "The Art of India and Pakistan," February 20, 1985–April 20, 1985.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painting in the Punjab Hills," 1999–2000.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Gods and Demons," 2000–2001.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Gods and Demons," 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paintings in the Punjab Hills," 2003.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Krishna: Mythology and Worship," February 9, 2004–May 9, 2004.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Gods and Demons," November 14, 2006–March 4, 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painting in the Punjab Hills," November 20, 2007–March 16, 2008.

Nashville. Frist Center for the Visual Arts. "Vishnu: India's Blue-Skinned Savior," February 25, 2011–May 29, 2011.

New York. Brooklyn Museum. "Vishnu: India's Blue-Skinned Savior," June 24, 2011–August 18, 2011.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Wonder of the Age: Master Painters of India, 1100–1900," September 26, 2011–January 8, 2012.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Hindu Court Painting," July 17, 2013–September 8, 2013.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Encountering Vishnu: The Lion Avatar in Indian Temple Drama," December 19, 2015–June 5, 2016.

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