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Krishna massaging the feet of Radha (a scene from the Gita Govinda?)

Accession Number
1979/1.160

Title
Krishna massaging the feet of Radha (a scene from the Gita Govinda?)

Artist(s)
Artist Unknown, India, Punjab Hills, Mankot School

Object Creation Date
circa 1730

Medium & Support
ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and beetle thorax casings on paper

Dimensions
10 1/2 in x 8 in (26.7 cm x 20.3 cm);19 5/16 in x 14 5/16 in (49.05 cm x 36.35 cm);10 1/2 in x 8 in (26.67 cm x 20.32 cm)

Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection Fund

Label copy
Gallery Rotation Fall 2013
Krishna Massaging the Feet of Radha
India, Punjab Hills, Mankot School
circa 1730
Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and beetle thorax casings on paper
Museum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection Fund, 1979/1.160
Krishna, the cowherd of Vrindavan, was one of human manifestations of the Hindu god Vishnu. Precocious and naughty as a child, he grew to overcome many obstacles and conquer ferocious demons to save himself and his tribe. The love affair between Krishna and his favorite gopi (cowgirl), Radha, is a common theme in north Indian painting. Their passionate relationship is a metaphor for the unquenchable love of the soul for the supreme god. As seen here, it is not always Radha who is in a subservient position in this love affair: often Radha is proud and aloof, and it is Krishna who is the ardent wooer.
Mankot, where this work was done, is one of the small hill states in northern India. The bold design, intense color, and jewel-encrusted effect (accomplished by the use of beetle thorax casings) are all characteristic of hill painting of the early eighteenth century—as is the stirring combination of fiery passion and dignified reserve.

Subject matter
Krishna, the cowherd of Vrindavan, was one of human manifestations of the Hindu god Vishnu. Precocious and naughty as a child, he grew to overcome many obstacles and conquer ferocious demons to save himself and his tribe. The love affair between Krishna and his favorite gopi (cowgirl), Radha, is a common theme in north Indian painting. Their passionate relationship is a metaphor for the unquenchable love of the soul for the supreme god. As seen here, it is not always Radha who is in a subservient position in this love affair: often Radha is proud and aloof, and it is Krishna who is the ardent wooer.
The bold design, intense color, and jewel-encrusted effect (accomplished by the use of beetle thorax casings) are all characteristic of hill painting of the early eighteenth century—as is the stirring combination of fiery passion and dignified reserve.

Physical Description
Bold colors depict Krishna, one of human manifestations of the Hindu god Vishnu, is seated with a woman, Radha, above him. He touches her leg, and the tips of her hands and feet glow red. She sits erect and holds a large flower, looking straight off the left edge of the picture. The two are framed in an architectural structure.

Primary Object Classification
Unbound Work

Primary Object Type
leaf

Additional Object Classification(s)
Painting

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Hinduism
feet (animal components)
flowers (plant components)
interior views
men (male humans)
portraits

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& Author Notes

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