This youthful figure is probably Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu, in his most popular guise as the charming flautist who plays for the adoring milkmaids. The animated pose of this sculpture is, however, more closely associated with depictions of celestial dancing musicians found in Indian art. This work is a relief from a temple, step-well or similar architectural structure. Its crisp, detailed carving and sinuous lines are characteristic of west Indian sculptures of the period.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label