Siva and his Retinue, Krishna and his Retinue

Nepalese
19th century


Object Place: Nepal

Dimensions

112 x 123.2 cm (44 1/8 x 48 1/2 in.)

Accession Number

67.835

Medium or Technique

Distemper and gold on cotton

Not On View

Collections

Asia

Classifications

Paintings

The white-skinned Hindu god Shiva sits in his usual attire on his bull Nandi, accompanied by two goddesses – one with red skin, the other with green skin – both seated on lions. He is greeted by his sons, the elephant-headed Ganesh on the left and the red-skinned Skanda on the right. They are on the stylized rocks of Mt. Kailasa, and the river Ganga pours from Shiva’s head and down the mountain. Numerous small figures of gods and ascetics appear on the rocks below, and larger figures of an ascetic, Brahma, and Sarasvati (?) appear on the green hills above. Under another tree to the right, a large figure of blue-skinned Krishna stands playing his flute. Part of this figure is now lost, but presumably the painting originally extended for at least another ten inches to include the rest of Krishna’s retinue. Two female figures attend Krishna at the left and scenes from Krishna’s infancy appear below a body of water that may represent the Jamuna river. Numerous figures of seated ascetics and kings appear in the hills above. In the lower register, against a red ground, two male and five female donor figures sit at either side of an altar with a priest and all the implements of puja. To the left stands an elephant. To the right, the male donors and priest are repeated, presumably to pay equal homage to Krishna as to Shiva.

Provenance

By 1967, John Goelet, New York, NY; 1967, gift of Goelet to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 13, 1967)

Credit Line

Gift of John Goelet