The Death of the Demoness Putana: Folio from a Bhagavata Purana Series

This painting depicts a famous scene from the many childhood exploits of Krishna, a much-loved avatar of Vishnu. The infant Krishna, while in the protective care of pastoral foster parents, encountered numerous dangers sent by the evil king Kamsa. In this scene, a demon, disguised as a wet nurse, is sent to kill Krishna with her poisonous milk. Krishna discovers her intention and suckles her until she expires. Krishna’s half-brother Balarama and their mothers look on in astonishment. This is one of many stories that portray Krishna as the destroyer of evil.

Opaque watercolor and ink paper


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Metropolitan Museum of Art

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