Krishna Slays Arishta, the Bull Demon
Page from a dispersed series of the Rasikapriya (Connoisseur's Delights) of Keshavadasa
Artist/maker unknown, India
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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.