"Krishna Holds Up Mount Govardhan to Shelter the Villagers of Braj", Folio from a Harivamsa (The Legend of Hari (Krishna))
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
present-day Pakistan, probably Lahore
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
H. 11 3/8 in. x W. 7 7/8 in. (28.9 x 20 cm)
Purchase, Edward C. Moore Jr. Gift, 1928
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 463
The Hindu epics the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, and other texts such as the Harivamsa, a genealogy of Hari (or Krishna), were translated into Persian and illustrated for the first time during Akbar’s reign (1556–1605). Unlike other manuscript projects for which the Mughal court artists inherited a tradition of iconography and style from earlier Iranian manuscripts, they had to invent new compositions for these works. The present folio depicts Krishna holding up Mount Govardhan to protect the villagers of Braj from the rains sent by the god Indra.
[ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, until 1928; sold to MMA]
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Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 245, pp. 339, 350-351, ill. p. 350 (color).