A Serpent Protects Vasudeva Taking His Infant Son Krishna to Safety

A Serpent Protects Vasudeva Taking His Infant Son Krishna to Safety

c. 1890

Watercolor, graphite, ink, and tin on paper

Painting only: 45 x 27.7 cm (17 11/16 x 10 7/8 in.)

Gift of William E. Ward in memory of his wife, Evelyn Svec Ward 2003.153

Location

Did you know?

In the lower right, the name Vasudeva is written in the Bengali dialect as “Bashoodeva.”

Description

In the dead of night, Krishna was born to parents who were imprisoned by his evil uncle, the usurper king Kamsa. While a goddess compelled the guards to sleep, Krishna’s father Vasudeva, in the middle of a storm, spirited the newborn to safety in a cowherd village, where he exchanged Krishna for another infant. In the morning, Kamsa murdered the infant he thought was the child of Vasudeva, and Krishna lived to be raised by the herders.

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