Gum tempera, ink, graphite, and tin on paper
Secondary Support: 51.3 x 35.6 cm (20 3/16 x 14 in.); Painting only: 45 x 27.8 cm (17 11/16 x 10 15/16 in.)
Gift of William E. Ward in memory of his wife, Evelyn Svec Ward 2003.160
The Hindu god Krishna eats butter, like the sacrificial fire into which Brahman priests pour ghee.
Yashoda, wife of the head of the cowherd village, raised Krishna from infancy. She is shown here churning milk into butter, while the mischievous toddler Krishna tips his hand in the pot to steal the rich cream. Kalighat paintings were made for pilgrims to take home and keep on domestic shrines. Made swiftly on inexpensive paper, they are a genre of art available to a wide swath of people.
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