Krishna and Consort on a Palace Balcony with Musicians: Vukharo Ragaputra of Bhairav, from the “Boston Ragamala”

Krishna and Consort on a Palace Balcony with Musicians: Vukharo Ragaputra of Bhairav, from the “Boston Ragamala”


Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper

Page: 32.7 x 23.8 cm (12 7/8 x 9 3/8 in.); Miniature: 18.8 x 12.7 cm (7 3/8 x 5 in.)

Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection; Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2018.179



The mood of this scene is joyous, as the blue-skinned god Krishna sits with his beloved in a high covered balcony. Set during the first moments of dawn, the sun rises over the horizon, and the new moon begins to fade in the morning light. Below, exuberant musicians blow horns and clap time. One man in front plays the cymbals next to the open-mouthed singer on a lute-like instrument. With the door wide open, the guard sits relaxed and unworried, counting the beads of his rosary.
The handwritten inscription gives the name of this ragaputra, the musical mode that corresponds with the scene. The handwriting and the distinctive silver-flecked border identify this page as belonging to one of the largest known ragamala series, now dispersed, that includes many rare examples, such as this Vukharo. Of the 36 pages, 13 are in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; this series is widely known as the “Boston Ragamala.”

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