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Krishna Gathering Lotus Blossoms for Radha

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 2:54 AM
Krishna Gathering Lotus Blossoms for Radha
Among the most distinctive and appealing representations of divine couple Radha and Krishna are those painted at Kishangarh in Rajasthan during the eighteenth century. The often unusually large portraits and narrative scenes are graced with a unique facial and figural style, which is immediately striking in this moonlit painting of Krishna gathering lotus blossoms for Radha, who is seated on a lake-edge terrace. The characteristic almond-shaped, upturned eyes; long, pointed noses; and graceful, elongated figures are the hallmark of Kishangarh painting. This lyrical, "sloe-eyed" portrait style was probably devised by Nihal Chand (c. 1715-8o), the royal atelier's master artist, and may have originally been intended for portraits of Radha and Krishna exclusively. Attendant figures in Kishangarh paintings also exhibit the distinctive facial features, but sometimes in a slightly less stylized manner, as is the case here.

This representation of Krishna is also notable in that it shows his long locks of hair flowing down his shoulders and into the water. One of Krishna's epithets is Kesava, "long-haired," but the rationale for the name is usually not so readily apparent as most portraits of the deity show his hair covered by a crown or turban.

Scenes of Krishna gathering lotuses for Radha are thought to illustrate a poem by fir Savant Singh (see Randhawa & Galbraith, pp. 108-9, pl. 23). Under the nom de plume of Nagari Das, he composed a number of devotional works, including the Manoratha Manjari (1723), Rasika Ratnavali (1725), Bihari Chandrika 0730, and Braj Sar (1742). Savant Singh's beloved courtesan, Bani Thani, was also a poet and, as did her lover, wrote under a pseudonym: Raskia Bihari.

Writer Name:- Pratapaditya Pal
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