A child who plays pranks on his parents; a lad for whom the hearts of local cowgirls beat faster; a young man drawing on his divine powers to do battle with superior demonic forces – such is the stuff that to this day captures the imagination of people in India and beyond. No other Hindu deities are associated with as many tales about their childhood and youth as Krishna is. Over the centuries, such traditional tales were not only handed down in oral or written form. Painters from all parts of India also produced works based on them, often as comprehensive series of pictures.

The god’s adventures are brought to life in our exhibition, retold through paintings produced in central India between the 17th and 18th centuries. Vibrant images characterized by strong geometrical forms and a fondness for symmetry and rich detail, they often recall the comics of today in their compositional style. Our exhibition also explores the religious significance of the items and explains the role art can play in narrative and religious practice — after all, these paintings are intended to rouse emotions in devotees and bring them closer to the divine. It is a complex and esthetic interplay of image, storytelling, faith, and Indian artistic sense.

The paintings are from the collection of Eva and Konrad Seitz, complemented by items from the Museum’s own collections.




CHF 18 / CHF 14 reduced