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Shri Mathura Ji. Nathdwara, circa 1820. Opaque watercolour with gold on wasli. 34.2 x 24.8cm
Krishna reveals his divinity to Vasudeva and Devaki. What seems to be a temple/shrine is actually the palace of the King Kansa in the city of Mathura. Vasudeva and Devaki were incarcerated in the palace and asura (demon) guards stationed at the gates. As the story goes, the guards fell asleep the moment the newborn Krishna revealed himself as the four-armed Vishnu. This act enabled Vasudev to pass unnoticed as he carried Krishna in his arms. It was a terribly stormy night in the month of Bhadon (hence the dark, thundery background and the peacocks sheltering themselves in mango trees). Vasudev had to brave the river in spite of the torrential downpour as well as the wilderness to deliver the baby to safety.
I would like to express my gratitude to Tarun Pant for kindly providing the above description.
Ref: Nathdwara Shri Mathura Ji 61011
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All images and text © Peter Blohm