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Culture:Indian, Rajput
Title:King Ugrasena Receives Krishna and Balarama on the Eve of Their Departure for Dwaraka
Date Made:ca. 1800–1820
Materials:opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Measurements:Sheet: 15 in x 20 13/16 in; 38.1 cm x 52.9 cm
Accession Number:  AC 1968.13
Credit Line:Bequest of Alban Widgery
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

In a central scene, Rama and Krishna, two incranations of Vishnu, garbed in gold with gold crowns, kneel on cushions in profile to right; three attendants kneeling nearby on pale green courtyard. At the right, King Ugrasena kneels in profile to left, two attendants besideh him. Numerous small scenes all around the central group: cows in and around brown cowbarn in upper left; horses and camels in lower left; portion of white palace at right with men and ladies in various groupings

Label Text:
This large painting shows the reception of the Hindu god Krishna and his brother Balarama at the Yadava court of the white-bearded king Ugrasena, whose throne Krishna had helped recover from the tyrant ruler Kamsa (also Ugrasena’s son). Bustling scenes of packing and loading unfold around them. Inscriptions on the painting’s reverse explain that the Yadavas are preparing to relocate to the sacred city of Dwaraka, in anticipation of a great war that will soon plague the region.

The painter Purkhu departed in significant ways from the earlier generation of artists associated with the depiction of Krishna and Radha on display nearby. His figures, for example, are squat, and complex architectural settings tend to dominate. As head of the royal painting workshop at Kangra, Purkhu oversaw the production of a large number of religious works, like this one. He is also known for his sensitive portraits of his patron, Raja Sansar Chand (r. 1775–1823).
- Yael Rice, 2015

animals; architecture; bags; cows; deities; figures; Hinduism; horses; men; nobility; sitting; soldiers; warriors; women; inscriptions

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