Sri Ram Gopal, Vijaivargia, Jaipur, India.
Sale, London, Christie, Manson & Woods, Important Autograph Letters Manuscripts and Drawings Oriental Miniatures and Manuscripts, December 18, 1968, lot no. 111: “Krishna Plays his Flute.” 
From 1968 to 2001
Ralph Benkaim, (1914-2001), Beverly Hills, California, purchased at auction by Maggs on behalf of Ralph Benkaim, Christie, Manson & Woods, “Important Autograph Letters Manuscripts and Drawings Oriental Miniatures and Manuscripts,” December 18, 1968, lot no. 111: “Krishna Plays his Flute.” 
From 2001 to 2018
Catherine Glynn Benkaim, Beverly Hills, California, by inheritance from Ralph Benkaim in 2001. 
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, partial gift and purchase from Catherine Glynn Benkaim. 
 See auction catalogue from Christie’s, London, “Important Autograph Letters Manuscripts and Drawings Oriental Miniatures and Manuscripts.”
 Ralph Benkaim purchased the painting in December 1968 from Christie’s, London, several years before paintings were classified as antiquities by the Indian government, according to his personal records, obtained via Catherine Glynn Benkaim. A telegram from Maggs 18 December 1968 to Mr. Benkaim indicates that Maggs made the purchase on Mr. Benkaim’s behalf.
 See Acquisition Justification Form, object file, Collections Management Office.
 See note 3.
- Previous Owner(s)
Sri Ram Gopal Vijaivargia Jaipur, India
Catherine Glynn Benkaim
Ralph and Catherine Benkaim
Pastoral images of a musical Krishna among his childhood cowherding community are popular in Hindu visual culture. The scene embodies Krishna bhakti, a form of devotionalism that emphasizes the personal relationship with a god who is both transcendent and accessible. Highlighted against a black ground and sheltered by lush trees, Krishna and his gently smiling companions are joyful. Devoted cows and a sleeping calf surround them. Throughout devotional poetry, Krishna and the Vrindaban cows have a special relationship: the village cows seek out Krishna's affection and refuse to be milked by anyone but the god.
The verso features a drawing in black and red ink of a kneeling courtier in profile. The head above the ear (which would have been on the back of the original border) has been cropped where the original border has been cut off. A margin of a thin black line remains.
- Collection Area(s)
- South Asian and Himalayan Art
- Rights Statement
Copyright with museum