Krishna, Radha Krishna - Paintings & Artworks
Krishna, Radha Krishna - Paintings & Artworks
The charming aura of Radha Krishna paintings has been an eternal part of our homes and hearts. Radha and Krishna have been portrayed in many Indian forms of painting; the diversity of it is beautiful in itself as every region worships the holy duo in a different manner. Together, they are considered inseparable Prakriti (Radha) and Parmatma (Krishna). Radha and Krishna are associated with divine love and devotion as they symbolize the highest form of love. Krishna art has been a popular genre of painting and not only that but has evolved into different artforms — sculptures, digital artworks, prints, poems, music, dance, and writing. But do we ever see the mighty Krishna alone in his paintings? Hardly ever. Hence, a Krishna wall painting is considered incomplete without Radha.
The presence of the mesmerizing blue-bodied divine being, the enchanting tunes of his bansuri, and his never-ending love towards his other half, Radha — Krishna is known as a major Hindu God and the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. He is mostly depicted with blue or black skin, with a flute in his hand and a peacock feather in his mukut. He is depicted with symbols related to him like cows, lotus, gopis, his mother Yashoda, and his lover and companion, Radha. Radha on the other hand is a Hindu goddess and majorly portrayed along with Lord Krishna; she is known as the chief of gopis and often shown with Krishna throughout his childhood to adult days in Radha Krishna canvas painting. Even though Radha was married to someone else, the universal bonding of Radha with Krishna did not have anything to do with her marital status and hence, are worshipped as one in Radha Krishna art.
The practice of making Radha Krishna wall painting is considered holy in each part of the country; a venerated genre, its representation in art is diverse and appealing. It is more than a piece of home decor — it is kept in high regard and worshipped like every other Radha Krishna idol. The Radha Krishna Painting collection at the Bimba represents five types of Indian paintings that master in Krishna art. Pattachitra painting, Madhubani painting, Kalighat painting, Pichwai painting, and Classical Indian art paintings come from different parts of our country but the one thing they have in common in this collection is the Lord Krishna painting. Across various practices, traditions, and beliefs, the making of Radha Krishna art is unique in itself.
In our Pattachitra Radha Krishna paintings collection, Radha and Krishna are seen in each others’ embrace while gopis lovingly tend to them, they are also surrounded by elements associated with Lord Krishna - lotus, swans, trees, gopis, peacocks, and ponds. These are the typical intricately done Radha Krishna wall painting in monochrome and colorful styles. Madhubani Krishna art is equally meticulous in form; in these colorful paintings, the canvas is filled with motifs and patterns which makes for a brimming canvas. Radha and Krishna’s Madhubani paintings are shown with the staple almond eyes with similar motifs of peacocks, flowers, and gopis. Quite the opposite are Kalighat Radha Krishna canvas painting; Kalighat paintings are known for their watercolor techniques, bold color strokes, and plain background. The portrayal of Radha Krishna is different in Bengali culture and hence, they are depicted in more than their usual pose — they are painted as young children in the embrace of Yashoda, a grown-up Krishna sitting at Radha’s feet and lovingly stroking it, almost asking for forgiveness for his mischievous leelas with the gopis and a similar illustration but this time, Radha is seen sitting at Krishna’s feet.
The most venerated Lord Krishna painting is a Pichwai painting; Pichwai Krishna art originated in Rajasthan’s Nathdwara temple and these paintings celebrate the 7-year-old avatar of Lord Krishna known as Shrinath Ji. Pichwai artwork is essentially a cloth painting that is hung behind the idol of Lord Krishna (pich meaning back and wai meaning cloth). Over the years, Pichwai paintings have taken a contemporary turn; increasingly Radha Krishna modern art has become a common Pichwai painting style. The Pichwai painting in our Radha Krishna painting collection comes with a touch of modernism. The side portrait of Radha Krishna is flanked by beautiful indigo-colored peacocks while the holy symbol of cow is gracefully placed in the middle of the canvas.
Lastly, Radha Krishna paintings are a common sight in the school of classical Indian art. Classical Indian art is a mix of four miniature schools of paintings: the Mughal school, Rajasthani or Rajput school, Deccan school, and Pahari school. These miniature schools of paintings depict scenes from religious texts like Mahabharat and Ramayana; in the case of Krishna art, the Rajasthani school is particularly known for depicting romantic scenes of Radha and Krishna. The paintings from each school are set in different moods as well. ‘Serenading Radha Krishna’ depicts Lord Krishna along with his companion Radha, while an attendant stands behind them with a whisk to their aid. They both listen to a musician who is Narada’s company Tumburu, a horse-headed musician. The other three miniature paintings have Radha, Krishna, and Radha’s Sakhi as the main subject, where both Radha and Krishna are trying to meet each other and the sakhi acts as the perfect ally by leading and persuading Radha to meet Krishna. Indian paintings have depicted Radha Krishna according to their respective culture but with the growth of modern art, Radha Krishna modern art has developed as well.
The variation in each of the paintings brings out the beauty of diverse communities and traditions related to Radha Krishna art. The renditions of Radha and Krishna in paintings are deeply rooted in every culture’s age-old beliefs and practices. In other paintings which do not feature Radha and Krishna together, Radha is often shown as one of the eight nayikas, waiting for Krishna, showing her anger or simply yearning for him, while her gopis console her, and Krishna is depicted with gwalas, gopis performing raas leela and scenes from his life.