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"Krishna Holds Up Mount Govardhan to Shelter the Villagers of Braj", Folio from a Harivamsa (The Legend of Hari (Krishna))

Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
ca. 1590–95
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)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Edward C. Moore Jr. Gift, 1928
Accession Number:
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]
Welch, Stuart Cary. The Art of Mughal India : Painting and Precious Objects. An Asia House Gallery publication. New York: Asia Society, 1963. no. 13, pp. 28, 164, ill. pl. 13 (b/w).

Grube, Ernst J. "The Early School of Herat and its Impact on Islamic Painting of the Later 15th, the 16th and 17th Centuries." In The Classical Style in Islamic Painting. Venice: Edizioni Oriens, 1968. ill. pl. 95 (b/w).

Swietochowski, Marie, and Richard Ettinghausen. "Islamic Painting." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 36, no. 2 (Autumn 1978). p. 39, ill. p. 39 (color).

Welch, Stuart Cary. "Art and Culture 1300–1900." In India!. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1985. no. 109, pp. 175-177, ill. p. 176 (color).

Welch, Stuart Cary. The Islamic World. vol. 11. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. pp. 134-35, ill. fig.103 (color).

Okada, Amina. Imperial Mughal Painters: Indian Miniatures from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Paris: Flammarion, 1992. p. 132, ill. fig. 145 (b/w).

Brand, Michael. "Art and Experience in India." In The Vision of Kings. Canberra, Australia: National Gallery of Australia, 1995. no. 79, p. 118, ill. p. 118 (color).

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).

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