Three cowherd boys stand behind their village elder Nanda, who agrees to hide the newborn Krishna, an incarnation of a Hindu god. At the left is Krishna’s father, Vasudeva, who has made this request in order to protect the child from slaughter by the despotic king, who had heard a prophecy that Krishna would one day kill him.
This painting is from a series depicting scenes from a sacred Hindu text and was part of the royal Bikaner collection. The simple, geometric composition, profile views, and flat planes of color show adherence to long-standing local artistic styles.
Nanda Solves Vasudeva’s Dilemma, from a Bhagavata Purana
Northwestern India, Rajasthan, Rajput Kingdom of Bikaner
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