There are many visions and idols of Krishna. Most depictions of Krishna even in his adolescent leelaas in Vrindavan show Him excessively laden with jewelery. Such vaibhava-vilaasa belongs to Krishna’s Dvaarakaa leelaas. Those who are attached to the vrajaleelas find such depictions incompatible with the nectarean visions of Krishna who went after the cows with the cowherd boys and came home in the evening with a dust-covered face that the gopis found exquisitely beautiful. In Vrindavan He cherished most the vanamala garland of forest flowers that was put together by his loving friends. Rupa Gosvami defines laavanya as the beauty of a person without any ornaments.
In Mumbiram’s visions one sees Krishna’s laavanya which was so very special to his dear associates in Vraja. Here we see Krishna sitting and playing his flute in a meditative mood. A dancing peacock, lotuses bending towards Krishna’s lotus feet, a pair of amorous white doves near his lap and Tulasi dancing in the wind are enlivening the ambiance.
This is one of the first paintings Mumbiram made in the Mandai Studio. The first one of that kind Mumbiram kept with the Thakur tribes on the mountains. Mumbiram has created several versions of this iconic Krishna painting. It has been an overwhelming favorite with Krishna lovers.
Watercolor versions showing Krishna in different seasons have been favourites with art-lovers. One is with Economist Vijay Kelkar’s family for 30 years. One was acquired by Israeli art connoisseur Gal Barkan for his artist grandfather in Paris. Now mostly signed prints are available.
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