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figure

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    2005,0506.1

  • Description

    Brass figure of the young cowherd Kṛṣṇa playing the flute. Kṛṣṇa is shown standing, one leg bent in front of the other, arms held up, hands poised to play the flute (the instrument itself is never shown in sculptures); the lips and eyes bear remnants of 'kuṅkum' and the eyeballs are painted black. The hair is coiled up on the head in an 'uṣnīsa' and at the back of the head a small bracket suggests where a parasole may have been inserted. The stepped base is decorated in part with lotus petals. Inscribed.

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  • Date

    • 19thC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 33 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Bengali
      • Inscription Position

        underside of the base
      • Inscription Language

        Assamese
      • Inscription Content

        অব শু েদবিদ(*) দেষ মায়া জপ (মা*) ৷
      • Inscription Transliteration

        A(*)ba shu debadi(*) dashe māyā japa (mā*).
      • Inscription Translation

        (in progress:) (Aba?) the good (shu) and first among the gods (deba+adi)
      • Inscription Comment

        inscription is occluded in several areas marked (*).
  • Curator's comments

    The fact that his attire has not been detailed in the casting suggests -along with the presence of kuṅkum- that this image was used in pūja and, therefore, would have been ritually clothed. Kṛṣṇa's mythology covers a composite range of life events and human emotion. He is the eighth incarnation of Viṣṇu and one of the most popluar Hindu deities.

    For comparable images see, Skelton R., 'Arts of Bengal', Nov-Dec 1979, The Whitechapel exhibition catalogue, nos.30-1; and Meister M., 'Cooking for the Gods: The Art of Home Ritual in Bengal', Newark Museum exhibition catalogue, nos.5-7.For comparable examples, see Michael Meister (ed.), 'Cooking for the Gods: The Art of Home Ritual in Bengal' (The Newark Museum, 1995), pp. 48-49, nos. 5-7, and Skelton & Francis, 'Arts of Bengal : The Heritage of Bangladesh and Eastern India' (Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1979), nos. 30-31.

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  • Bibliography

    • Blurton 2006 p.43 bibliographic details
  • Condition

    Good.

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    2005

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    2005,0506.1

Brass figure of K???a playing the flute. K???a is shown standing, one leg bent in front of the other, arms held up, hands poised to play the flute (missing); the lips and eyes bear remnants of ku?kum and the eyeballs are painted black. The hair is coiled up on the head in an u?nisa and at the back of the head a small bracket suggests where a parasole may have been inserted.  The stepped base is decorated in part with lotus petals. Inscribed.

Brass figure of K???a playing the flute. K???a is shown standing, one leg bent in front of the other, arms held up, hands poised to play the flute (missing); the lips and eyes bear remnants of ku?kum and the eyeballs are painted black. The hair is coiled up on the head in an u?nisa and at the back of the head a small bracket suggests where a parasole may have been inserted. The stepped base is decorated in part with lotus petals. Inscribed.

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Object reference number: RRI34636

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