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Brahma Offers Homage to Krishna
Page from a dispersed series of the Bhagavata Purana (Story of the Lord Vishnu)

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

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

c. 1570-1575

Opaque watercolor on paper

Image: 5 1/2 × 9 1/2 inches (14 × 24.1 cm) Sheet: 7 1/4 × 10 1/8 inches (18.4 × 25.7 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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In this painting's elaborate composition, the four-headed god Brahma has tested Krishna by kidnapping Krishna's cowherd companions and their cows. Krishna has magically replicated himself to perfectly resemble all the boys and cows and, thanks to his divine nature, the replicas have become even more beloved to the cowherd families than the originals. Brahma capitulates, returns the boys and cows, and honors Krishna as the ultimate divinity. In this work, the essential characters of the story (Krishna, Brahma, and Krishna's brother) appear in a red rectangle, while the cows and cowherds fill the dark landscape to augment the narrative.