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Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Sculpture from North India, 5th-7th Centuries
Jain sculpture
Sculpture of the Pala Period
Stone Sculpture from Hindu Temples
Sculptures from South India, 8th-9th Centuries
Bronze Sculpture of the Chola Period
Art for the Mughal and Rajput Courts
Hindu Temple Hangings
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Sculpture from Nepal
Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Two Bodhisattvas from Sri Lanka
The Rainy Season (Varsha)
India, Gujarat or the Deccan; late 17th century
Temple hanging (pichhavai); Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on dyed cotton
H. 80 3/4 in. (205.1 cm); W. 86 1/2 in. (219.7 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
Large temple hangings known as pichhavais ("those which hang at the back") were intended to be hung behind sculptures of Krishna and are usually painted with images of Krishna or with scenes from his life. The eight women flanking a flowering tree represent a popular theme in Indian literature and art: the cowherdesses (gopis) with whom Krishna is often shown playing with or hiding from. Such is the god's power that each cowherdess and indeed every woman he encounters believes that she is the only one whom Krishna loves. This theme is generally interpreted as a metaphor for the soul's longing for union with the divine. The women in this painting are depicted holding objects such as peacock feathers, fly whisks, and garlands that would have been offered to the statue of Krishna.
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