Mar 26, 2014
Mar 26, 2014

Sakhi Persuades Radha to Meet Krishna, from a Gita Govinda (Song of the Cowherd) of Jayadeva

Sakhi Persuades Radha to Meet Krishna, from a Gita Govinda (Song of the Cowherd) of Jayadeva

c. 1820–25

attributed to Purkhu

(Indian, 1750-1860)

Gum tempera and gold on paper

Overall: 24.1 x 32.1 cm (9 1/2 x 12 5/8 in.); with borders: 25.4 x 30.3 cm (10 x 11 15/16 in.)

Bequest of Mrs. Severance A. Millikin 1989.334


Did you know?

According to the text, Krishna softly plays his flute and weaves his beloved Radha's name into the melody.


While all the cowherd girls were in love with Krishna, he had a favorite according to texts of the 1200s and later. Her name was Radha, and she and Krishna would meet for secret trysts in the forest, facilitated by her sakhi, or confidante.

Krishna is shown twice in this painting. At the right he is in the process of making a bed of leaves for their upcoming encounter, and in the middle, he spies on Radha, wearing orange and gold. The sakhi is encouraging Radha to go and meet Krishna, since he is pining for her.

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