Gallery of Pahari Paintings
The hill states of the Himalayas produced some of the most evocative scenes of Krshna
Lila in their paintings. Painted in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, they represent
yet another golden age of Indian art.
Nandrai returns from Mathura
(bottom left hand of the painting) to discover a strange sight in Gokul ! His new born
baby, having killed Putana, is safely back with his mother. Gopies ward off all evil by
encirling His head with the tail of a cow (top right hand of the painting). Due to
her huge size, gopas had to hack the demoness's body up (bottom of the painting) to
cremate her (top left hand of the painting) ! 51kb
Krishna kills the
storm demon in a narrative style that shows Krishna seated on a terrace of Nanda
Bhavan,being abducted into the sky, and than being lifted off the dead demon's chest by
gopies of Vraj ! 92kb
Krshna re-calls his beloved, for she accidentally
put on His clothes as they dressed hastily to part in the early hours of the morning !
Krshna sends a gopi on his behalf to entreat Radha.
The darkness of the woods reflects the lovers mood. By dressing the main characters
in bright clothes the painter sets them apart from their surrounding, as if they were lit
by a spot light on a grand stage. 40kb
Lovers talk quietly and quickly in a public place.
The heroine is shown to be shy, but very much in love - her brilliant red veil testifies
to that - a colour often used to depict intense longing. By keeping the veil between them,
she maintains all the rules of social conduct in a public place - alas, what else can they
do ! 30kb
Despondent Radha attempts to cool the embers of her
separation from Krshna. Painting uses the most common classical allusions to describe
the methods used in ancient India to cool the fires of love - flowering woods, river,
lotus pond, fan, thin flowing robes. 64kb
Summertime, and the life is easy ! Krshna and
his friends have fun in the woods of Vraj - note, Krshna is shown serving Bala-Rama and is
also shown being served by the other gopas. 70kb
Radhikaji Arresting Shri Krshna for waylaying gopies of
Vraj and demanding an unlawful toll - dana - unusual painting of a theme often
sung during early autumn. - 39kb
I am very grateful to www.goloka.com (also called
"black peacocok") for allowing us to use paintings from their excellent and
extensive collection. Pahari paintings are part of a series of wonderful paintings
they have - please visit them and see more wonderful paintings at their site.