Radha and Krishna on Swing

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Size: 17.5 x 22.5 inches
Medium: Opaque Watercolours and Gold on Paper
Period: circa 1920s
Origin: Nathdwara, Rajasthan


Krishna and Radha sit resting against a large white bolster on an ornate silver swing. Underfoot is a floral decorated carpet on a chequered marble floor with iron balustrades. Six female attendants flank the couple whose gazes are firmly fixed on each other. In the foreground are a pair of European style pink settees, while in the distance an orange hued sky indicates the setting sun. Dense clusters of trees and foliage sprinkled with parrots and peacocks envelope the central scene.
Such dramatic scenes were painted by Nathdwara artists, who produced these images for devotees who visited the great Krishna temple at Nathdwara in Rajasthan, India. Founded in the 17th century, this temple (Shrinathji ki Haveli) attracts an enormous following even to this day, in turn ensuring a continuing tradition of devotional images. Towards the end of the 19th century and early 20th century, Nathdwara artists were exposed for the first time to European art prints, whose influence can be seen in the paintings of this period.