Krishna Advising on the Horse Sacrifice (front); Preparing the Army to Follow the Sacrificial Horse (back)
Probably from a picture-story series of the Shri Jaimini Ashvamedha episode of the Mahabharata

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Geography:
Made in Deccan Region, India, Asia
Possibly made in Karnataka, India, Asia
Possibly made in Andhra Pradesh, India, Asia
Possibly made in Telangana, India, Asia

Date:
19th century

Medium:
Opaque watercolor on paper

Dimensions:
Image (a): 11 5/8 × 15 11/16 inches (29.5 × 39.8 cm) Sheet: 12 1/2 × 17 inches (31.8 × 43.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1994-148-539a,b

Credit Line:
Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994

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Label:
Many of the narratives illustrated in picture-story paintings were local versions adapted from classical Hindu sources. This double-sided page shows scenes from a popular story based on an episode in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandava brothers, wanted to perform the Ashvamedha (horse-sacrifice), in which a special horse would be allowed to wander freely for a year. Anyone who challenged the horse's freedom would face the accompanying Pandava army, led by the youngest Pandava brother, Prince Arjuna. These paintings show preparations for the sacrifice. On the front, three heroes present an elaborately ornamented horse to the Pandavas' court, where they seek advice from the four-armed deity Krishna. On the back, the cavalry prepares to follow the sacrificial horse in its wanderings.