Mar 20, 2014

Krishna Awaiting Radha

Krishna Awaiting Radha

c. 1750–60

Gum tempera and gold on paper

Overall: 18.6 x 13.2 cm (7 5/16 x 5 3/16 in.)

Edward L. Whittemore Fund 1936.685



The Hindu god Krishna reclines on a bed, looking alertly ahead, waiting for his lover, Radha. He pays no attention to the two attendants holding a fan and peacock-feather whisk at his feet.

Indian painters sought to convey the essence of Hindu devotional texts. In both the paintings and poetry, emotional empathy is created through situations depicted and described. God waits for his devotee to set aside worldly distractions and come to him, in order to reach the goal of Hindu religious practice: freedom from suffering and oneness with god. Similarly, Krishna, who is god incarnate, anxiously waits for Radha, his lover, to arrive and experience the bliss of union.

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