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Krishna as a Crawling Infant
Tamil Nadu, India
Vijayanagar Period, 14th century

length: 5.9cm, height:: 6.5cm, weight: 156g

This small image depicts Krishna as a crawling infant. He holds a smooth, spherical butter ball in his right hand. He is naked other than for his headdress, an
extensive granular necklace, and earrings, and other jewellery. The casting is naive, somewhat primitive and early.

The tall, distinctive headdress is unique to Tamil Nadu and is of a type that forms part of the costume for the Kathakali dancers of Kerala. The headdress here
is cast with a smooth, flattened top.

A similar crawling krishna is in the Norton Simon Museum (M.1977.30.10.S) and illustrated in Pal (2003, p. 277).

The example here is older than most extant examples of South Indian Krishnas of this type. It has a splendid patina and obvious significant age.

References:
Pal, P.,
Art from the Indian Subcontinent: Asian Art at the Simon Norton Museum, Volume 1, Yale University Press, 2003.

Provenance: UK art market

Inventory no.: 3610

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