Krishna as Kali Worshipped by Radha (recto); Krishna Quells the Serpent Kaliya (verso)

Krishna as Kali Worshipped by Radha (recto); Krishna Quells the Serpent Kaliya (verso)

c. 1890

Part of a set. See all set records

Watercolor, graphite, and ink on paper

Secondary Support: 48.1 x 29.7 cm (18 15/16 x 11 11/16 in.)

Gift of William E. Ward in memory of his wife, Evelyn Svec Ward 2003.113

Location

Description

Krishna’s cowgirl (gopi) Radha was Ayanaghosha’s wife, and her devotion to him transcended marital ties. Whenever Radha was together with Krishna and her husband appeared, Krishna instantly transformed himself into Kali and Radha into her devotee. Radha, a model devotee, symbolizes the human soul and its longing for god. Her willingness to break the rules of duty (dharma) exemplifies her devotion.

On the verso is another scene from Krishna's life. The serpent Kaliya was poisoning the water of a great pool by the Yamuna River, near the residence of the cowherd community where Krishna spent his youth. The animals were dying from the toxins. Krishna wrestled the mighty serpent, then emerged from the water to dance on his head. Pleading with Krishna to set him free, Kaliya’s wives are shown like mermaids.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.