Vastraharana, four panels depicting Krishna with cowherdess companions. Pigment painted wood; 232 cm x 145 cm. Kerala. c. 19th century. F/36.

“He hugs one, he kisses another, he caresses another dark beauty….”1 Joyful Krishna’s love play in this carved panel is as evocative as is Jayadeva’s poetic rendering of the young lord’s amorous adventures with his cowherdess companions. Seeing them bathe, he mischievously hides their clothes and perches himself atop a tree, with his flute. Here, bashful young girls are depicted pleading with Krishna to return their clothes in a desperate attempt to protect their modesty.

1. Miller, 1977, p.77, stanza 44

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