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An image of Krishna and the gopis by

Madhubani, Bihar, India

Krishna and the gopis
Place of origin
Contemporary (Adivasi, tribal or folk) circa 1950 - onwards → India
circa 1980s
Media category
Materials used
pen and ink on paper

54.4 x 75.0 cm sight; 73.7 x 93.0 x 1.7 cm frame

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of Claudia Hyles 1999
Accession number
© Copyright reserved
Not on display
Further information

Women have for centuries decorated the inner and outer walls of their houses to mark auspicious occasions, rituals and festivals. Rooms typically decorated include the room for the family goddess or deity, the 'honeymoon' room for newly married couples and the verandah outside the honeymoon room.

In 1967 a relief project to alleviate the effects of drought and famine in India's northwest had village artists reproduce traditional wall and floor paintings on paper for sale. The enthusiastic response to the market launched the style that has come to be known as Madhubani paintings. This painting depicts gods and goddesses surrounded by symbols of prosperity and fertility such as an elephant, fish, parrot, turtle, peacock, bamboo, lotus, flowers and creepers.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, April 1999

Exhibition history (1)

Indian Folk Paintings and Textiles, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 29 May 2004–04 Jul 2004