Krishna and the gopis, c. 1790, Kangra, (The Archer Collection)



Archer, William George
Photographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title




Here is another example of early Kangra painting, sharing with the Holi one the same range of typical Kangra colours, sense of warmth and fluid naturalism. But in contrast to the dashing revelry of 2154, there is now a feeling of grave reverence. The symbolic lotus leaves and flowers parallel Krishna and the girls, and the flowering creeper that winds around the tree trunk echoes their delicate embraces. Coomaraswamy wrote in 1912 of Kangra painting Their ethos is unique: what Chinese art achieved for landscape is here accomplished for human love. Here, if never and nowhere else in the world, the Western Gates are opened wide. This art is only concerned with the realities of life
above all, with passionate love-service, conceived as the means and symbol of all Union. If Rajput art at first sight appears to lack the material charm of Persian pastorals, or the historic significance of Mughal portraiture, it more than compensates in tenderness and depth of feeling, in gravity and reverence. -- 8.75 x 5 inches.


Pahari Miniature Painting, Kangra: Tira-Sujanpur, Nurpur, Mandi etc., paintings, miniatures, photograph





Archives Series

Date created

Access Statement

License Rights

This item is provided for research purposes. Contact the Australian National University Archives at for permission to use.


Restricted until