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Milkmaids At Twilight

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Milkmaids At Twilight
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It did not take long for the charming Lord Krishna to become a favourite with the young milkmaids (gopiyaan) of Vrindavan when, at the tender age of eleven, He was transferred by destiny to the custody of the childless but loving couple, Nanda and Yashoda. The stories of His youthful leela (behavioural divinity) are many, and the painting that you see on this page captures a single episode of that leela. Lord Krishna is seated in a thriving lotus pond, surrounded by loving milkmaids. Flanked by two on either side, each of them is fresher and lovelier than the nearest lotus that emerges from the waters.

The Lord is clad in a dhoti of yellow silk (yellow is the signature colour of the Vishnu-avatara) and a gold crown that befits His divine status. The milkmaids immediately next to Him shower Him with their caresses and adjust His angavastram and adornments. The dark blue skies of the backdrop betray the onset of dusk, an allusion to the lengths and risks upon personal honour that the milkmaids drunk in love of their Lord are willing to take to. A canopy of green hangs over their heads. Given how folk art is usually limited in terms of colour and detail, a richly coloured pattachitra such as this one makes for an unusual composition.

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Item Code: PU32
Paata Painting on Patti
Folk Art from the Temple Town of Puri (Orissa)
Artist: Pravakar Das
17 inch X 11 inch
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