Sculpture of Krishna in the kadam tree, the milkmaids begging for their clothes, Trinomali
Artist: Daniell, Thomas (1749-1840), and Daniell, William (1769-1837
Wash on buff paper drawing of a sculpture depicting Krishna in the 'kadam' tree, the milkmaids begging for their clothes, from Tiruvannamalai, by Thomas Daniell, dated 1793. Inscribed on front in water-colour: 'Crishna & ye Gopis from a Pillar of a large Choultry, near Trinomali in the Carnatic.'
The popular Hindu god Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu. There are many stories celebrating the playfulness of the god. As a cowherd Krishna loved to cavort with the gopis, the milkmaids, in the forest of Vrindavan, his native place.
The sculpture represented in this drawing is from a pillar of a shrine from the Arunachaleshvara Temple temple at Tiruvannamalai. This huge complex, covering almost ten hectars, is dedicated to Shiva. It was built in the 16th century during the Vijayanagara period and later enlarged in the 17th century, Nayaka period. It has eight tall pyramidal gopuras or gateways typical of the architecture of Tamil Nadu and comprises many pillared mandapas or hall with intricately carved columns.