Unusual, Plump Standing Balakrishna Figure
Karnataka, South India
circa 17th century
height: 14.4cm, weight: 748g
This version of the infant Krishna stealing the butterball (known as Balakrishna) is unusual because of the deity’s unusually full and plump body shape, and for the fact that the deity is shown standing. Usually, Krishna in this guise is shown crawling. The version here is one adopted around Mysore in Karnataka.
Krishna holds rounded balls of butter in both hands. He is naked other than for a waist band and jewellery. A talismanic double tiger claw pendant is suspended around the neck. The hair is pulled up into a high bun and there are strands over the shoulders.
Krishna stands on a raised dais that has been decorated with lotus petals.
Pal (1988, p. 255) illustrates a version of this bronze in ivory which he attributes to the 16th century. The styling of both images is almost identical.
The image has a chocolate-brown patina.
Pal, P., Indian Sculpture, Volume 2 – 700-1800, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1988.
Art from the Indian Subcontinent: Asian Art at the Simon Norton Museum, Volume 1, Yale University Press, 2003.Provenance:
UK art market
Inventory no.: 3376