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Krishna and Radha

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Kishangarh, Rajasthan, India, Asia

c. 1750

Opaque watercolor and gold on cotton

Image: 40 5/8 × 37 3/16 inches (103.2 × 94.5 cm) Frame: 43 3/4 × 40 1/2 × 1 7/8 inches (111.1 × 102.9 × 4.8 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Edith H. Bell Fund, 1984

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Krishna offers betel nut to his beloved Radha and envelops her in a gentle embrace in this unusually large composition. Their union is often interpreted as a metaphor for the joining of the earthly realm (Radha) with the divine (Krishna). Although Krishna is a cowherd and Radha a village woman, they wear elaborate robes and precious jewels. Their intricate ornamentation—from the flower on Radha’s forehead to the anklet visible beneath Krishna’s robe—elevates them to royal status, hints at their amorous relationship, and emphasizes their divine identities.