Krishna fluting, folio from a Dasavatar series

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1
Download Image IIIF

Terms of Use

Creative Commons

At A Glance

  • Period

    ca. 1730
  • Geography

    Mankot, Uttarakhand state, India
  • Material

    Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
  • Dimension

    H x W (painting): 22.2 × 14.6 cm (8 3/4 × 5 3/4 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Artist

    Attributed to the Master of the Court of Mankot (active early 18th century)
  • Description

    Beneath an arched bower exploding with blossoming creepers and flowers, Krishna, charmingly poised on one foot, entertains attentively adoring gopis with music from his flute. The painting’s vibrant colors, particularly the vivid red ground, and the ardently focused gazes of the lotus-eyed gopis attest to the powerful currents of emotion connecting the blue-skinned Krishna and his devotees. As an allusion to his divine status, the artist represented Krishna standing upon an open lotus flower that rests on a marble throne inlaid with precious gems. The vines encircling the tree trunks are a visual instantiation of a well-attested metaphor for the relationship between a woman (vine) and her lover (tree).
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Raja of Lambagraon
    Ramesh Kapoor
    Paul F. Walter (1935-2017)
    Catherine Glynn Benkaim
  • Provenance

    Raja Dhruv Dev Chand of Lambagraon, descendant of the Kangra rulers
    Sharma, Delhi [1]
    To 1984
    Kapoor Galleries, Inc., New York, New York [2]
    From 1984 to 2002
    Paul F. Walter (1935-2017), New York, New York, purchased from Kapoor Galleries, Inc., New York, New York in 1984 [3]
    Sale, New York, Sotheby’s, Important Indian Miniatures from The Paul F. Walter Collection, November 14, 2002, lot 65: “Illustration to a Dasavatara series” [4]
    From 2002 to 2018
    Catherine Glynn Benkaim, Beverly Hills, California, purchased at auction, Sotheby’s, New York, “Important Indian Miniatures from The Paul F. Walter Collection,” November 14, 2002, lot no. 65: “Illustration to a Dasavatara series” [5]
    From 2018
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, partial gift and purchase from Catherine Glynn Benkaim [6]
    [1] According to Catherine Benkaim.
    [2] See Sotheby’s auction catalogue from the sale in New York. Sotheby’s, Important Indian Miniatures from The Paul F. Walter Collection, November 14, 2002, lot 65: “Illustration to a Dasavatara series.”
    [3] See note 2. See also Pal, P., American Collectors Asian Art, (Bombay: Marg Publications, 1986), pp. 205-206.
    [4] See note 2.
    [5] See note 2.
    [6] See Acquisition Consideration Form, object file, Collections Management Office.
  • Origin

    Mankot, Uttarakhand state, India
  • Credit Line

    Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection — funds provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The National Museum of Asian Art welcomes information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Keep Exploring