Philadelphia Museum of Art - Collections Object : Krishna Raises Mount Govardhana

Krishna Raises Mount Govardhana
Page from a dispersed series of the Bhagavata Purana

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Udaipur, Rajasthan, Mewar Region, India, Asia

c. 1700

Opaque watercolor, red and black inks, gold, and silver or tin on paper

Image: 7 3/4 × 15 9/16 inches (19.7 × 39.5 cm) Sheet: 8 5/8 × 16 1/2 inches (21.9 × 41.9 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994

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Krishna, an avatar of the god Vishnu, was raised as a village cowherd, yet his divinity becomes evident in times of need. Here Krishna lifts Mount Govardhana to shelter a group of villagers from a devastating rain invoked by the god Indra, Lord of Storms. Blue-skinned Krishna appears in the lower right corner, using his herder’s staff to raise not only the tree covered mountain, but also the ascetics and wild animals inhabiting it. Bright colors enhance the chaos of the scene, in which the villagers huddle together for warmth and safety. In the upper left, Indra rides his white elephant in the roiling gray clouds while his minions project the storm toward the earth.