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Kantha (Embroidered Quilt)

Second half of 19th century
Artist/maker unknown, Bengali
Rather than a lotus, the center of this kantha contains a square enshrining Krishna and Radha. The blue-skinned god holds his flute to his lips. Radha's pink sari is wrapped with the end piece pulled forward in Bengali fashion. The embroiderer has stitched "Mrs. Nripamayi [?], servant/devotee of god" in the upper left of the square. By writing what is most likely her own name inside the central space, she places herself within the "sanctum"-just as did the builders-designers whose names are inscribed inside the sancta of Bengal's brick temples. Two large makaras (mythical aquatic creatures) suggest the Ganges River flowing around the lovers in Krishna's home of Vrindavan in central India. Three of the fish are patched using fragments of other kanthas, adding thrift to thrift....

Object Details

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