north India, India

Krishna, Radha and Lalita in a scene from the Gitagovinda mid 18th century Materials & Technique: paintings, miniatures, opaque watercolour, gold leaf, silver leaf opaque watercolour, gold leaf, silver paint Support: paper
Dimensions: image 18.5 h x 12.5 w cm mount 33.1 h x 26.2 w cm
Acknowledgement: The Gayer-Anderson Gift 1954
Accession No: NGA 91.1353
Subject: Avatar: Vishnu Literature, Indian Hindu
  • Bought in Cairo, Egypt, by Major Robert Grenville Gayer-Anderson, Pasha, 1926 or before
  • who gave it to is brother, Colonel Thomas Gayer Gayer-Anderson in Cairo, 1926
  • 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, 1926-1953
  • 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 Egypt in 1926. The National Gallery of Australia welcomes further information regarding its history of ownership prior to 1926.
  • The Gita Govinda, written by the poet Jayadeva, describes the love affair between Krishna and Radha, a milkmaid [gopi]. The story correlates physical and emotional passion with spiritual commitment, or devotion to the gods, and illustrates the pain of separation from the divine. In this scene Krishna and Radha have quarrelled over Krishna’s amorous pursuit of other gopis. Separated, both are lovesick and Krishna seeks a reunion, with Radha’s friend Lalita acting as intermediary.

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