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Krishna and Balarama

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Kolkata (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1855 - ca. 1860 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour and tin alloy on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Painting, in watercolour and tin alloy on paper, image of the blue skinned god Krishna on the right with his elder brother Balarama on the left. Balarama is normally shown with a white complexion carrying a horn or a ploughshare. Both deities have peacock crowns and silver necklaces (executed in tin alloy) which hang over their pleated dhotis. Reared with Krishna in the family of the cowherd Nanda, Balarama shared his boyhood in Brindaban. He assisted Krishna in the killing of many demons.

Place of Origin

Kolkata (made)


ca. 1855 - ca. 1860 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour and tin alloy on paper


Height: 17 in, Width: 11 in

Object history note

Historical significance: Calcutta was recognised as the Capital of British India from 1833-1912. By the 1830s, artists had arrived from rural villages in Bengal and began to produce paintings that reflected local history, mythology, customs and conflicts of a colonised society. As a popular art form, these artists are recognised for their use of brilliant colour, simplified images and swift brushstrokes that became the hallmark of Kalighat painting in the 19th and early 20th century.

Descriptive line

Painting, Krishna and Balarama, watercolour and tin alloy on paper, Kalighat, Kolkata, ca. 1855-1860

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

fig A frontispiece, and pl. no. 9, cat. no. 5,ii: p.51.
Kalighat paintings : a catalogue and introduction / by W.G. Archer. London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1971 Number: 0112900291 :
p. 56
Sinha, Suhashini, and Panda, C, eds. Kalighat Paintings from the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2012. ISBN 1851776656.
p. 22, no. 5 and fig. 14
Archer, W.G., Bazaar Paintings of Calcutta, Victoria & Albert Museum, H.M.S.O., 1955


Opaque watercolour; Paper; Paint; Tin alloy



Subjects depicted



Paintings; Hinduism; Religion; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

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