Indian and Himalayan Art
The Demon Samvara Kidnaps Krishna's Infant Son, Pradyumna
Artist/maker unknown, India
Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver-colored paint on paper
Currently not on view
2004-149-72125th Anniversary Acquisition. Alvin O. Bellak Collection, 2004
LabelAfter winning the battle for Mathura, Krishna takes the beautiful Rukmini as his queen-but Krishna's adventures are far from over. Soon Rukmini gives birth to a baby boy named Pradyumna. A prophecy has foretold that when the child grows to manhood he will kill the demon Samvara. Samvara learns of the birth and flies to Krishna's palace. The rest of this episode tells of Pradyumna's rescue, his secret rearing inside the demon's palace, and his eventual fulfillment of the prophecy. This painting shows the moment after the abduction. Rukmini, still in the cloth headband worn during delivery, sits among the stunned palace women as Samvara soars through the air holding Pradyumna.