Indian and Himalayan Art
Krishna Slays Arishta, the Bull Demon
Artist/maker unknown, India
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Currently not on view
2004-149-20125th Anniversary Acquisition. Alvin O. Bellak Collection, 2004
LabelThis 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.