Pahari painting, Kangra style Krishna-Venugopala among the gopis [Krishna amongst the gopis and gopas (herdswomen and herdsmen)] c. 1810 Place made: Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India
Materials & Technique: paintings, opaque watercolour Support: paper
Dimensions: image 20.3 h x 16.2 w cm support 22.7 h x 18.1 w cm
Acknowledgement: The Gayer-Anderson Gift 1954
Accession No: NGA 91.1314
Subject: Avatar: Vishnu Hindu Deities
  • Acquired in Pune, Maharashtra, India, by Colonel Thomas Gayer Gayer-Anderson, 1928;
  • exported from India by Colonel Thomas Gayer Gayer-Anderson, 1930;
  • held in the collection of Colonel Thomas Gayer Gayer-Anderson and Major Robert Grenville Gayer-Anderson, Pasha, both of The Little Hall, Lavenham, Suffolk, England, 1928-1953;
  • who gave it to the Commonwealth of Australia, 1953;
  • held by National Library of Australia, Canberra, after transfer from London, 1954-1991;
  • transferred to the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 1991.
  • The collecting history of this painting is partial. The earliest known transaction is its acquisition by the donor in India in 1928. The National Gallery of Australia welcomes further information regarding its history of ownership prior to 1928.
  • Krishna is surrounded by adoring milkmaids [gopis] and cowherds [gopas] enchanted by the sound of his flute. The desire of the gopis for Krishna equates to the longing of devotees for divine communion. The picture is not complete. Krishna’s hands are posed to hold the flute but it has yet to be brushed. The peacock feathers on his crown and the detail on the pedestal are also missing. Different artists often created particular elements of paintings, for instance landscape or faces. Unfinished pictures are not uncommon.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
    From: Asian gallery extended display label