Radha and Krishna beside a Lake at Sunset
Artist/maker unknown, India
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In this scene, blue-colored Krishna and his beloved Radha overlap so closely that they almost become one. This perfect union of lovers expresses, on a religious level, the melding of human into divine that is the goal of the spiritual journey. The artist repeats the motif of union in the multiple bird couples filling the pond, including a pair of striking redheaded Sarus cranes, two great black birds that may be Indian cormorants, and a pair of whitebreasted kingfishers. Their mating and the lushness of the landscape indicate that this is monsoon season, a time of intimacy and rebirth and a metaphor for the state of bliss that comes from total, loving devotion to God.