Posted on: 19 November 2020

Durga holding the infant Krishna (Deva Gostha)
ca. 1885–95

Durga is seen here in her maternal aspect, offering the infant Krishna sweets from a bowl. The divine pair sit on her lion vehicle (vahana) set on marble paved floor and against a golden aureole (prabha) which has forest landscape painted on the interior and heavenly clouds populated by the gods in the outer register. This framing device evokes the portable shrines constructed in Bengal for the Durga Puja festival. The presiding gods are attended by Lakshmi, goddess of wealth with Vishnu, seen left, and Sarawati, goddess of learning, along with Shiva and Brahma, to the right. Below are Ganesha and Skanda riding his peacock, and in the foreground Krishna’s childhood friends play with two cows and a calf.

Image and text credit:
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art