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Folio from a Bhagavata Purana Series: King Yudhisthira Performs the Rajasuya Sacrifice, 1825-50

India: Himachal Pradesh, Kangra Workshop, 1825-1850
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
image: 10-1/2 x 15-5/8 in. (26.7 x 39.7 cm); sheet: 12-1/4 x 17 in. (31.1 x 43.2 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Ramesh and Urmil Kapoor
P.2003.02.02
© 2012 Norton Simon Museum

Not on view

This complex scene depicts several episodes from one chapter of the Bhagavata Purana. Key characters appear in multiple locations, represented at different points in time. For example, King Yudhisthira can be seen bathing in the river with maidens, then dressing himself on its bank moments later.

This depiction of the king and maidens in the river is a reworking of a popular motif used in many Indian paintings: Krishna at play in the Jamuna River with female devotees. The depiction of this motif was meant to catch the attention of the erudite viewer, communicating the painter’s own knowledge of the tradition in which he worked.


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