Krishna and Balarama Fight the Evil King Kamsa’s Wrestlers: Page from a Dispersed Bhagavata Purana

Date:
ca. 1650
Culture:
India (Madhya Pradesh, Malwa)
Medium:
Ink and opaque watercolor on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 6 1/2 × 7 3/4 in. (16.5 × 19.7 cm)
Mat: 6 3/4 × 7 3/4 in. (17.1 × 19.7 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alvin N. Haas, 1973
Accession Number:
1973.337
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 464
Kamsa sent Canura and Mushthika, two mountainlike wrestlers who had limbs as strong as lightning, to confront the youthful Krishna and Balarama. The climactic moment is statically presented with great formal drama. Such scenes of conflict serve as metaphors for Krishna’s destruction of corruption. The deep brown background and brightly lit action set against a night sky are typical of the fully developed Malwa aesthetic. (This page is from the same manuscript as 1974.116.)
Mr. and Mrs. Alvin N. Haas , Phoenix, AZ (until 1973; donated to MMA)
San Diego Museum of Art. "5000 Years of Art," October 11, 1981–December 6, 1981.

Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "5000 Years of Art," January 10, 1982–February 7, 1982.

Mobile. Fine Arts Museum of the South. "5000 Years of Art," March 30, 1982–May 9, 1992.

Midland Art Center. "5000 Years of Art," June 13, 1982–August 25, 1982.

Little Rock. Arkansas Arts Center. "5000 Years of Art," September 19, 1982–November 14, 1982.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Selections for the Opening of The Florence and Herbert Irving Galleries," 1994.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Indian Paintings," 1994–95.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Illustrations of the Bhagavata Purana," 1996.

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. "Krishna: Mythology and Worship," February 9, 2004–May 9, 2004.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Krishna: Mythology and Worship," March 1, 2008–July 28, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Lyrical Visions: Paintings from North India," December 3, 2011–May 28, 2011.