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


Circular dance of Krishna and the gopis

circa 1850


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Other Titles
    Circular dance of Krishna and the milkmaids
    Place where the work was made
    Bundi Rajasthan India
    Rajput circa 1500 - 1947 → India
    circa 1850
    Media categories
    Painting , Watercolour
    Materials used
    opaque watercolour with gold on paper
    61.0 x 80.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 1995
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    This painting hums with the joyous melodies and rhythms of ‘bhakti’, total surrender to Lord Krishna. Depicted is the circular dance, the ‘rasalila’, in which each ‘gopi’ imagines that Krishna dances with her alone. In the central orb Krishna and Radha dance in bliss surrounded by peacocks, each flanked by adoring peahens. In an outer ring Krishna dances simultaneously with all the other ‘gopis’, each dressed in their finest robes. Their dance is presented as a glowing mandala within a forest clearing, watched by musicians, holy men and devotees, and blessed with flower petals dispersed from heaven.

    ‘Goddess: divine energy’, AGNSW 2006, pg.55.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 7 publications

  • Provenance

    The provenance of this work is under review and records will be updated as new details become available. The Gallery welcomes any information. Contact provenance@ag.nsw.gov.au

    Art of the Past, pre Jun 1995, United States of America