Inventory no.: 3886

South Indian Bronze Krishna


Unusual Standing Krishna

South India

circa 17th century

height: 12.3cm, width: 4.5cm

This highly unusual solid-cast bronze image of Krishna shows the god in voluptuous form, standing in padavastika, with one foot crossed over the other and his body twisting to the figure’s left, and playing a flute that no longer is present.

The casting is particularly three-dimensional, but the most unusual element is the plaited ponytail of hair that runs from the back if the image’s head, down his back, and past his feet. We have not seen this rendering before, published or otherwise. Such a hairstyle is more typically associated with Radha, Krishna’s consort. Additionally, Krishna wears a top-knot atop his head.

Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu, played his flute to attract and seduce the milk maids (

gopis). He is known as Venu-Gopala in this manifestation, or literally ‘the cowherd with the flute’.

The image stands on a rounded, lotus-petal pedestal.

The image is in excellent condition with a rich, chocolate-brown patina and contours softened and rounded by handling and

puja (ritual prayer) wear.


Mitchell, A.G., Hindu Gods and Goddesses, UBSPD, 1982.


UK art market

Inventory no.: 3886