Returned to lender The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

Krishna Dances in the Raslila with the Gopis (Female Cowherds)

India, Punjab Hills, kingdom of Basohli

Not on view

Krishna, in the center of a whimsical celebration known as the Raslila, stands alone playing his flute while from above the gods Indra, Brahma, and Shiva shower the crowd with tiny red and white flowers. The night is said to last a billion years. In the ring, Krishna has replicated himself so that he can dance separately with each of the gopis, whose ecstasy speaks to their passionate devotion. These women personify the impermanent feminine energy (prakrti) that brings life to the material world, while existence itself is understood as “Krishna consciousness.” The ambiguous representation of space and the defined fields of color reflect an interest in abstraction present in early North Indian works. This Basohli court style influenced generations of artists who worked in the Pahari valleys.

Krishna Dances in the Raslila with the Gopis (Female Cowherds), Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, India, Punjab Hills, kingdom of Basohli

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.