Arjuna and Krishna Advance Against the Kauravas
From a dispersed series of the Mahabharata

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Himachal Pradesh, India, Asia

c. 1825

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

Image: 12 × 17 3/16 inches (30.5 × 43.7 cm) Sheet: 13 3/8 × 18 3/8 inches (34 × 46.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Lessing J. Rosenwald, 1959

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In this scene of the great battle of the Mahabharata, the Pandava prince Arjuna takes center stage, standing in his charging chariot and shooting from a massive bow. Arjuna's charioteer, Krishna, does not resemble the other warriors but appears here in his true form as the god Vishnu's dark-skinned, dressed in a saffron-colored garment, and blowing on his identifying implement, the conch shell. The battle, although replete with gruesome severed heads that spurt blood, is nevertheless amazingly well ordered, as are the arrows that cover the picture plane with the regularity of woven fabric.