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Brahma Honors Lord Krishna for His Miraculous Deed

c. 1525-1540
Artist/maker unknown, Indian
This page comes from the earliest known illustrated series of the Bhagavata Purana, an influential Hindu poem written in Sanskrit that praises the god Vishnu and narrates his many incarnations. Undoubtedly the god's most compelling form is Krishna, who is usually shown with blue skin. His story appears in the tenth chapter of the text, which is often copied separately, as may be the case here. The horizontal pages have only a short caption on the front, usually written in a yellow area at the top of the page. Text appears in varying lengths on the reverse, but the work is clearly conceived to tell the story through pictures. Here the priestly, four-headed god Brahma pays homage to Krishna, who has just performed a miraculous deed. The angular profiles, full hips, bold eyes, balloonlike trees, wavy cloud-lines, and flat, primary colors characterize an indigenous North Indian painting tradition.

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