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Gum tempera, graphite, and ink on paper
Secondary Support: 48.1 x 29.7 cm (18 15/16 x 11 11/16 in.); Painting only: 25 x 20 cm (9 13/16 x 7 7/8 in.)
Gift of William E. Ward in memory of his wife, Evelyn Svec Ward 2003.113.b
Kaliya is one of the few foes whom Krishna did not kill, but permitted him to relocate to an island in the ocean.
The serpent Kaliya was poisoning the water of the Yamuna River near the residence of the cowherding community, where Krishna spent his youth. The animals were dying of the toxins. Krishna wrestled the mighty serpent then emerged from the water to dance on his head. Pleading with Krishna to set him free, Kaliya’s wives are shown like mermaids.
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