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Kantha (Embroidered Quilt)

Artist/maker unknown, Bengali

Made in Bangladesh, Asia
or West Bengal, India, Asia
Made in Undivided Bengal, Asia

19th century

Cotton plain weave with cotton embroidery in back, buttonhole, darning, running, marking cross, cross, dot, eye, stem filling, fern, and seed stitches

37 1/2 x 37 1/2 inches (95.2 x 95.3 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994

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The Gaudiya Vaishnava devotional imagery on this kantha includes golden-flowered kadamba trees and blue lotus flowers at the corners, both sacred to Krishna. Each side depicts a key episode from the god's early life. At right, baby Krishna mischievously steals butter from his mother's churn. At left, dashing Krishna plays his flute to the enraptured gopis (cowherd women). At bottom, he rides a horse composed of gopis and led by Radha, his paramount lover. At top, he ferries Radha and the gopis across the river, demanding favors for their passage.