Venugopala

 

Venugopala

This is Venugopala, flute playing form of Krishna. As he is an avatar of Vishnu and in his rear hands he is holding discuss and conch shell  (Chakra and Shankha).

On the front of the pedestal you see two cows listening to his music with rapt attention. It is the the cows that give him the name Gopala , cowherd.Venugopala back

Another unusual feature is Garuda on the pedestal between the cows. Though Garuda is Vishnu’s vahana, he is not normally associated with Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu.

Krishna is standing in tribhanga (triple bend), graceful as ever, with  his right leg crossing over the left. His pronounced leaning to the right is not unusual (see the back view) . I have seen other similar bronzes of Venugopala and so far have not seen any explanation.

This bronze is well made and the casting is pure. Among other things to note see the delicate casting of Krishna’s right foot and the form of cows.

This bronze is well worn due to ritual worship and the associated cleaning, but retains the charm.

The delicate casting and the material (copper rich) suggests this is from Tamil Nadu, South India. It may date prior to the eighteenth century. It is about 8 cm in height.

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