Mar 17, 2014

Krishna Quells the Serpent Kaliya

Krishna Quells the Serpent Kaliya

c. 1890

Part of a set. See all set records

Watercolor, graphite, and ink on paper

Secondary Support: 48.1 x 29.7 cm (18 15/16 x 11 11/16 in.); Painting only: 45.7 x 27.8 cm (18 x 10 15/16 in.)

Gift of William E. Ward in memory of his wife, Evelyn Svec Ward 2003.113.b


Did you know?

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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