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Illustration of an Indian woman holding a flower
This exhibition is in the past. View our current exhibitions.

Verses from the ‘Gita Govinda’

The Sanskrit devotional poem Gita Govinda (Song of the Cowherd) by Jayadeva is a cycle of 24 songs. These paintings are from a long series in which each illustrates a single verse.

The main characters are the god Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu, and his lover, the mortal cowherdess Radha. Their recurrent separations and blissful reunions are metaphors for the separation of the soul and the Divine and their ultimate ecstasy in union.

A maharaja (probably the patron) and members of his family appear in many of the paintings as humbleworshipers of Vishnu.

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.