T. Falk, E. Smart and R. Skelton, Indian Painting: Mughal and Rajput and a Sultanate manuscript, P & D Colnaghi and Co. Ltd.,London, 1978, p.70, no.79.
This dynamic and iconic image of Krishna's cosmic form is almost hypnotic in its visual power, providing one of the most arresting and inventive images in later Rajasthani painting.
In the Bhagavat Gita the opening of chapter eleven features a request from Arjuna to witness Krishna's divine form: "Krishna responds by granting Arjuna divine sight with which he sees Krishna in the universal entirety of his countless celestial, mystic, and earthly forms" (Falk 1978, p.70). Krishna is shown with multiple heads and limbs, his body made up of humans, animals, birds, serpents, demons, other gods, rocks, rivers and trees, symbolising the entire contents of the universe, with an image of the blue-skinned god over the navel. The detail is remarkable and rewards close examination. The intense cosmic presence of Krishna's divine form is surrounded by various figures relevant to the story. The figure style in general is that of Kota in the mid-nineteenth century, and the massed troops at lower right and lower left are dressed in armour and helmets typical of Kota at that date, as are the horses of Arjuna's chariot in the lower centre.
Mounted on board, colours strong, in good condition, very minor flakes, notably to white paint and few of figures to lower right-hand edge, lower corners with some minor creasing, small pin holes to left-border, probably for pinning, as viewed. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."