The temple in Nathdwara, 48km North East of Udaipur, houses Shrinathji an ancient image of Krishna, brought to Mewar for safekeeping during the time of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. It is one of the holiest shrines for Hindu pilgramage in Rajasthan.
Elements of the iconography of this image are shared in other paintings relating to the Shrinathji shrine, of which there are four in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, all illustrated in Joseph M. Dye, The Arts of India, Richmond, 2001 nos.103-106, pp.287-291. The present painting shows the garlanded dark blue icon of Krishna on a platform within a kind of square shrine, a textile hanging behind, in front of a colonnade, the columns of which resemble palm trees, and with a congregation of men dressed in white, the women more brightly dressed in coloured saris.
The other paintings mentioned exhibit various combinations of these traits. In one, a miniature painting of circa 1800-25, the elements are all there, except that the colonnade with the palm trees in front is actually represented as a painting on a pichvai (painted cloth background) hanging behind the icon (no.103, p.287). On another, circa 1850-75, the entire scene just described is painted onto a pichvai, the scale adjusted so that the icon, the colonnade and the trees share the same somewhat flattened plane (no.104, p.288). A rather later example dated Samvat 1966 (1909 AD) shows three Krishna icons in a shrine with a patterned textile hanging behind and palm trees that seem to occupy the physical space of the courtyard (no.106, pp.290-1).
The present painting differs from all of the above by also portraying the gathered multitude in front of the shrine in their great diversity.