Krishna And Radha Embrace During A Storm (Recto); Priests Worship Shrinathji (Verso); Folio From A Royal Kota-Jaipur Album
recto © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2015.31
Title
Krishna and Radha Embrace during a Storm (recto); Priests Worship Shrinathji (verso); folio from a royal Kota-Jaipur album
Classification
Albums
Work Type
album folio
Date
c. 1720-1730
Places
Creation Place: South Asia, India, Rajasthan, Kota
Culture
Indian
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
painting - recto: 16.5 x 10.3 cm (6 1/2 x 4 1/16 in.)
painting - verso: 17.7 x 12.8 cm (6 15/16 x 5 1/16 in.)
folio: 26 x 21 cm (10 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.)
Provenance
Stuart Cary Welch, Jr., Warner, New Hampshire (by 1969 – 1998), sold; to private collection, Toronto (1998 – 1999), sold; to private collection, London (1999 – 2015), sold; [through Francesca Galloway, London] to Harvard Art Museums, 2015.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Richard Norton Memorial Fund
Accession Year
2015
Object Number
2015.31
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
Seated under an awning outside of a sumptuous bedchamber, the blue-skinned Krishna and his consort, Radha, hold one another close. The lightning that snakes across the dark sky above them signals the onset of a powerful monsoon rain, which the artist renders as sheets of water that swirl across the awning and heavy drops that leave faint, white traces as they ricochet off of the ground. Krishna and Radha gaze at one another as if unaware of the storm. Radha’s right hand grazes the fingertips of Krishna’s left hand and arcs over her head as she removes her delicate veil, while peacocks watch the couple from the shelter of the trees at right.

The deep shading around the figures’ eyelids and jawlines and the full, gently rounded forms of their faces and torsos characterize paintings completed in the kingdom of Kota during the second and third decades of the eighteenth century. This folio was part of a larger album that contained paintings of Krishna and other popular subjects drawn from northern Indian literary and religious traditions. In the album, paintings from Kota were paired or interspersed with later paintings from the kingdom of Jaipur, such as the one on the verso of this folio. It depicts two priests worshipping a form of Krishna called Shrinathji. The wide green and red bands with gold vegetal scrolls that border the paintings on both sides of the folio indicate that the album was assembled after the latter paintings were completed, perhaps at Jaipur. The circumstances surrounding the Kota paintings’ transfer to Jaipur are not yet understood.
Publication History

Indian Paintings and Manuscripts, auct. cat. (London, 1999), p. 70 - 71, cat. 44

Into the Indian Mind: An Insight through Portraits, Battles, and Epics in Indian Painting, auct. cat. (London, 2015), p. 116 - 117, cat. 41

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu