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Vasudeva carries Krishna to the safety of Devarka. Nathdwara circas 1840 . Opaque watercolour on wasli. 28.4 cm by 38.1cm

The picture shows the saving of new-born Krishna from evil tyrant King Kamsa. Deposed king Vasudeva must save his new-born son Krishna from certain death. King Kamsa who forewarned that Vasudaeva's and wife Devarka's eighth son will be born to kill him has ordered all theirchildren to be put to death at birth. The action shown comes after their first seven have already been killed. Using continuous narrative Vasudeva under divine guidance appears three times: firstly to our left in Mathura with wife Devaki where imprisoned they perform puja (prayer) at a shrine; next he is seen at mid-point having evaded his captors he wades through the storm-swollen fast moving River Yamuna with his new-born eighth son Krishna held aloft, the river's serpent-god Sheshanaga offering protection; finally to the right having reached the safety of Gokul he passes Krishna to Queen Yashoda who will from then on be his stepmother,in return receiving her and King Nanda's new-born daughter.

Ref: 000508

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Images and text © Peter Blohm