Indian and Himalayan Art
Krishna Dances and Holds Aloft Two Stolen Balls of ButterMade in Orissa, India, Asia
c. 17th century
Artist/maker unknown, India
Currently not on view
1994-148-262Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994
LabelIn devotional Hinduism, the soul's love of god is often envisioned as the total and all-forgiving love of a mother for her son. As a toddler, Krishna was very fond of dairy products-so much so that he would steal his adoptive mother Yashoda's freshly churned butter. As a precautionary measure, Yashoda stored her butter in containers suspended from the ceiling, presumably out of young Krishna's reach. The mischievous god was not deterred: he would simply stack pots on top of one another until he could reach the prize. Here he dances jubilantly, having succeeded in purloining two balls of butter.