14086. Indian Carved Wood Figural Panel with Krishna Playing the Flute
19th to 20th century AD
A hand-carved arched wood stele depicting the Hindu god Krishna playing a bansuri (or murali) flute associated with the Krishna and Radha love story, revered as Krishna's divine instrument, traditionally linked with his Rasa lila dance. In the register under Krishna are two dancing gopis (cow herding maidens), their bodies in motion as they dance with raised knees. All are carved in high relief and set before a verdant landscape of lush flora, standing upon a plinth carved w/ lotus leaves.
Krishna and Radha had quite a history beginning in childhood when they grew up together, playing, dancing, and hoping to spend the rest of their lives together. Unfortunately the universe pulled them apart. Krishna came to be worshipped as a lord who defended his people and vanquished his enemies, while Radha waited for him. Krishna married Rukmini and Styabhama; he raised a family and fought valiantly in the war of Ayodyha, while Radha still waited - so immense was her love for Krishna. Song writers and poets have used their torrid love as inspiration for centuries. The Radha-Krishna romance is a prominent subject of Indian art and literature, serving as a model of allegorical love to which all should aspire. Radha was Krishna's favorite of all the gopis (cow herding maidens), and their love signified rapture between God and human soul has often been interpreted as the hope for the union between humanity and the divine. An elaborate and fine carving of good size.
Size 47 inches Height
Provenance: Ex Collection of Richard S. Ravenal
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