May 24, 2016
May 24, 2016

Krishna Fluting

Krishna Fluting

c. 1675–1700

Color on paper

Page: 21.9 x 14.3 cm (8 5/8 x 5 5/8 in.); Miniature: 17.2 x 9.5 cm (6 3/4 x 3 3/4 in.)

Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection; Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2018.157

Location

Description

Brilliantly set off against a flat red ground, Krishna’s blue body is the focus of the brown cow, lured to the god by the melody of his flute. Even the plantain and cypress trees seem to point in his direction. The figural style of the artists of this Rajput kingdom effortlessly shows the head turned in one direction, while the feet point the opposite way, contributing to Krishna’s superhuman appearance.

Below, a herdsman struggles to manage a spotted cow in front of a temple with a linga, a stylized phallic form that identifies the presence of the Hindu god Shiva. This fluting scene refers to Krishna’s coming of age as a cowherd.

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