Krishna and the Gopis Take Shelter from the Rain

Here, dark clouds fill the sky and Krishna shelters several gopis (cow maids), alluding to his lifting of Mount Govardhana to shield the inhabitants of the village of Braj from a devastating storm sent by the god Indra. The gopis’ devotion (bhakti) to Krishna is mimicked by the cows who share in their adoration. Krishna’s pastoral activity, which was mapped for places of pilgrimage, and his erotically charged relationship with the gopis, which speaks of his passionate connection to his devotees, came to be important aspects of religious life. Accordingly, they were the subjects of paintings at many of the Rajput courts.

Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper


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Metropolitan Museum of Art

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