• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12471

    Arts of India

    26 May 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 82

    A RARE PILGRIMAGE MAP OF VRAJ (VRAJ YATRA) AND THE YAMUNA RIVER

    RAJASTHAN, NORTH INDIA, CIRCA 1850

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A RARE PILGRIMAGE MAP OF VRAJ (VRAJ YATRA) AND THE YAMUNA RIVER
    RAJASTHAN, NORTH INDIA, CIRCA 1850
    Opaque pigments on cotton, finely painted, the river forming a large bend, numerous shrines and villages scattered in a green landscape, Krishna and his companions shown in various places, with floral borders
    100 x 94½ in. (244 x 240cm)


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    The present piece is a rare cartographic view of the pilgrimage landscape of Vraj, in the region of Mathura. It features the Yamuna river and the sacred sites associated with episodes of the life of Krishna. It is filled with small depictions of actions related to Krishna’s feats (lilas). Devotees can connect with each lila story mentally through this painted hanging. The pilgrimage route is undertaken in a clockwise manner, passing through 12 forests and 12 groves as well as mount Govardhan (the bluish rocky mount in the centre of the painting). Mathura is the city which lies in the bend of the river. Two closely related maps of Vraj are in the Tapi Collection in Surat (06.97; Madhuvanti Gose (ed.), Gates of the Lord, The Tradition of Krishna Paintings, exhibition catalogue, Chicago, 2015, fig.3, p.40) and in the National Museum, Delhi respectively dated late 19th and 19th century. Another map, showing the image of Shri Nathji in its centre, sold at Christie's New York, 17 October 2001, lot 198. A monumental map of pilgrim sites along the Ganges sold at Christie’s South Kensington, 12 June 2014, lot 196.