Lot 1003
  • 1003

AN ILLUSTRATION TO THE BHAGAVATA PURANA: THE INFANT KRISHNA SLAYS THE DEMONESS PUTANAINDIA, GULER, CIRCA 1780-90 | AN ILLUSTRATION TO THE BHAGAVATA PURANA: THE INFANT KRISHNA SLAYS THE DEMONESS PUTANAIndia, Guler, circa 1780-90

Estimate
20,000 - 30,000 USD
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Description

  • Attributed to the workshop of Seu-Nainsukh
  • Opaque watercolor on paper heightened with gold
  • image: 9 1/4  by 6 5/8  in. (23.5 by 16.8 cm)
  • folio: 11 3/4  by 9  in. (29.8 by 22.9 cm) unframed
The infant Krishna at the breast of the crumpled demoness Putana suckling the life out of her.  His mother Yashoda gently pulls at his arm - concerned that Krishna's once beautiful nurse has been transformed and her true identity revealed as a demoness - sent by Krishna's vengeful uncle Kamsa to poison the child.  Gopis with Nanda and Balarama look on gesturing with wonder at the sight.  A single tree with a sturdy dark trunk and beautifully defined green leaves diagonally frames the scene against a delicate light-blue sky.  Dark clouds tinged with crimson recede at the upper right.  A refined composition of great clarity and elegance. This extremely fine miniature is attributable to painters of the workshop of the Seu-Nainsukh family - active primarily at the court of Guler during the generation after Nainsukh in the latter Eighteenth Century.  For a further discussion on the history and characteristics of this workshop see B.N. Goswamy and Eberhard Fischer "The First Generation After Manaku and Nainsukh of Guler" pp. 687 - 718, essay in Masters of Indian Painting 1100-1650, Artibus Asiae, 2015.  And for comparisons to some Rajasthani examples of the Putana episode see: Andrew Topsfield, In the Realm of Gods and Kings, London, 2004, pp. 148-149, cat. 57, and Darielle Mason (Ed.), Intimate Worlds: Indian Paintings from the Alvin O. Bellak Collection, Philadelphia 2001, pp. 144-145, cat.57.

Provenance

Collection of Mr. Gordon H. Mattison, Maryland
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