Folio from a Bhagavata Purana Series: King Yudhisthira Performs the Rajasuya Sacrifice

Folio from a Bhagavata Purana Series: King Yudhisthira Performs the Rajasuya Sacrifice
Artist:
India: Himachal Pradesh, Kangra Workshop
Date:
1825-50
Medium:
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper 
Dimensions:
image: 10-1/2 x 15-5/8 in. (26.7 x 39.7 cm); sheet: 12-1/4 x 17 in. (31.1 x 43.2 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Ramesh and Urmil Kapoor 
Accession Number:
P.2003.02.02 
Copyright:
© Norton Simon Museum 
Not on View
Description

This complex scene depicts several episodes from one chapter of the Bhagavata Purana. Key characters appear in multiple locations, represented at different points in time. For example, King Yudhisthira can be seen bathing in the river with maidens, then dressing himself on its bank moments later.

This depiction of the king and maidens in the river is a reworking of a popular motif used in many Indian paintings: Krishna at play in the Jamuna River with female devotees. The depiction of this motif was meant to catch the attention of the erudite viewer, communicating the painter’s own knowledge of the tradition in which he worked.

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