The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 19, 2018

Krishna Lifting Mount Govardhan, c. 600

Sandstone, Overall: 244 cm (96 1/16 in.); without base: 200.8 cm (79 in.); Mounted: 317.4 x 44.5 x 44.5 cm (124 15/16 x 17 1/2 x 17 1/2 in.). John L. Severance Fund 1973.106

This remarkable, colossal sculpture depicts Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu, in one of the earliest sculptural representations known from Cambodia. He is shown in the act of performing the miracle of raising Govardhana Hill, in order to shelter the villagers and cows from the torrential downpours sent by Indra, king of the gods, who was angry at Krishna for having suggested that the villagers no longer give him sacrificial offerings.

Krishna was only seven years old when he performed this superhuman feat, so this sculpture depicts him with bare head, youthful features, and a short lower garment. Nonetheless, the extreme power of this child god is elegantly conveyed by the sculptors, for he appears to raise the mountain almost effortlessly.

The Cleveland Museum of Art (06/28/2009 - 08/30/2009); "Streams and Mountains Without End: Asian Art and the Legacy of Sherman E. Lee at the Cleveland Museum of Art"

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