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Maharao Shatru Sal I Celebrates the Birthday of Krishna as Brijnathji

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Kota, Rajasthan, India, Asia


Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver-colored paint on paper

Image: 16 7/8 × 11 13/16 inches (42.9 × 30 cm) Sheet: 19 1/2 × 14 5/16 inches (49.5 × 36.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Alvin O. Bellak Collection, 2002

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The small, golden image of Krishna as Brijnathji (paired with his love Radha) in the golden shrine is a representation of the real statue that was considered the protector and most sacred possession of the state of Kota. It is worshiped at the Kota Palace to this day. The courtiers and Maharao Shatru Sal (reigned 1758-64), distinguished by the gold halo around his head, gaze at the statues in adoration. Three courtiers, however, turn away from the shrine and instead gaze adoringly at Shatru Sal. According to certain Kota traditions, the Maharao and Krishna are essentially interchangeable, a fact that this artist has chosen to highlight.