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Brahma Honors Lord Krishna for His Miraculous Deed
Page separated from the earliest known manuscript of the Bhagavata Purana, stories of Lord Vishnu
The Four-Headed Priest-God Brahma Honors Lord Krishna for his Miraculous Deed

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-Agra Region, India, Asia

c. 1525-1540

Opaque watercolor and ink on paper

Image: 5 3/8 × 9 1/8 inches (13.7 × 23.2 cm) Sheet: 7 1/8 × 9 1/2 inches (18.1 × 24.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Alvin O. Bellak Collection, 2004

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This page comes from the earliest known illustrated series of the Bhagavata Purana, an influential Hindu poem written in Sanskrit that praises the god Vishnu and narrates his many incarnations. Undoubtedly the god's most compelling form is Krishna, who is usually shown with blue skin. His story appears in the tenth chapter of the text, which is often copied separately, as may be the case here. The horizontal pages have only a short caption on the front, usually written in a yellow area at the top of the page. Text appears in varying lengths on the reverse, but the work is clearly conceived to tell the story through pictures. Here the priestly, four-headed god Brahma pays homage to Krishna, who has just performed a miraculous deed. The angular profiles, full hips, bold eyes, balloonlike trees, wavy cloud-lines, and flat, primary colors characterize an indigenous North Indian painting tradition.