We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

🛈 In line with NSW Health advice, the Art Gallery is temporarily closed to the public. Stay updated on our social media.

Title

Avatars of Vishnu, the exchange of babies

circa 1775

Artists

Unknown Artist

No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Bengal India
    Date
    circa 1775
    Media category
    Painting
    Materials used
    watercolour on paper
    Dimensions
    9.5 x 15.0 cm image; 13.0 x 18.5 sheet
    Credit
    Gift of Dr J Masselos 2021
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    102.2021
    Share
  • About

    Krishna was born to oppose his uncle, the evil king Kamsa, who believed a prophecy that a son of his sister would destroy him. To protect baby Krishna from that fate, the child’s father Vasudeva placed the child in a basket and secretly took him from the palace in which he was born to live with foster parents in a cow herding village on the other side of the river. The precious child was protected on the journey by a tiger and a serpent. The painting shows Vasudeva fording the river with the child held high above this head. In the lower right corner, Krishna’s foster mother Yashoda holds the daughter she will exchange for Krishna.