Skip to main content

Kantha (Embroidered Quilt)

Late 19th or early 20th century
Artist/maker unknown, Bengali
In Gaudiya Vaishnava belief, the lives and emotions of Krishna and Radha merge with those of their devotees. The scene at bottom shows the episode where Krishna ferries Radha and the gopis (cowherd women) across the river in a peacock boat. However, the dancing and fan-waving devotees who flank the boat indicate that the embroiderer is depicting not only the story, but also its ritual reenactment. Narrative and ritual likewise combine in the right panel with (top to bottom) a processional chariot, enshrined icons of Radha and Krishna, a short version of the story of Krishna absconding with the gopis clothes, and the divine couple in a forest clearing. Other panels show devotees dancing ecstatically, most waving their right arms in the air. Gold wedding jewelry appears in the corners of the central square.

Object Details

We are always open to learning more about our collections and updating the website. Does this record contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Contact us here.

Please note that this particular artwork might not be on view when you visit. Don’t worry—we have plenty of exhibitions for you to explore.