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An image of Folio from a dispersed series of the 'Bhagavata Purana' by

North India, India

Folio from a dispersed series of the 'Bhagavata Purana'
Place of origin
North IndiaIndia
Cultural origin
probably Uttar Pradesh
circa 1520-circa 1530
Media categories
Painting, Watercolour
Materials used
opaque watercolour (gouache) on paper

17.9 x 23.6 cm

Purchased 2007
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

This folio is from the earliest known illustrated manuscript of the Bhagavata Purana, a popular text of 18 000 verses composed around the year 900. The verses speak about the Hindu deity Vishnu, in particular, his form as the god Krishna. This illustration relates to events in Book 10 when the blue-skinned Krishna, together with his companions Balarama and Uddhava, visit the nobleman Akrura.

Paintings from this manuscript exemplify the 16th-century Chaurapanchasika style, which is characterised by bold primary colours applied in clearly bound sections, rich patterns contrasting with flat, unpatterned areas, and figures in strict profile enlivened by exaggerated gestures and crisp, sharply pointed drapery.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, September 2011

Bibliography (2)

Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, Newtown, Feb 2008, cover (colour illus.); 9 (colour illus.).

Yvonne Tan, Asian Art Newspaper, 'Intimate Encounters, Indian Paintings from Australian Collections', London, Apr 2008, 13(illus.).

Exhibition history (2)

Intimate Encounters: Indian paintings from Australian collections, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Feb 2007–04 May 2007

One hundred flowers (2011), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Sep 2011–15 Jan 2012