Krishna Combs Radha's Hair
Krishna Combs Radha’s Hair
Garhwal, Himachal Pradesh, India
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Bequest of Irene Littledale Downs
One of the names for the Hindu god Krishna (an incarnation of the god Vishnu) is Shyama, the “dark one,” and he is usually shown as blue. This scene of intimacy between Krishna and the cowherd Radha is also a metaphor for devotion to God. During the fifteenth century, a form of worship called Bhakti emerged in which personal fidelity and worship were preferred over ancient rituals or texts; Krishna and love directed toward him were the essence of the Bhakti movement.