Krishna Slays Arishta, the Bull Demon
Page from a dispersed series of the Rasikapriya (Connoisseur's Delights) of Keshavadasa
Artist/maker unknown, Indian
This story of Krishna impaling the bull demon Arishta on his own horn is traditionally illustrated in the Bhagavata Purana, not the romantic Rasikapriya, of which this is a page. The painting may have been included in this Rasikapriya in praise of Krishna generally or, perhaps, to illustrate an introductory verse that requests his blessings. The image is a fine example of the distinctive style of painting from Malwa in central India. Although Malwa was one of the first Rajput regions to fall under Mughal control in the mid-sixteenth century, its artists absorbed practically nothing from Mughal painting for many decades. With the exception of the figures' Mughal-style turbans, this painting most closely resembles the indigenous style seen in other sixteenth-century Bhagavata Purana pages.