An illustration from Bhagavat Purana Series, North India, possibly Bikaner School, circa 1760
This finely executed painting with watercolor and gold on paper; Kamsa holds the newborn of the imprisoned Devaki, while Vasudev looks on from the right and guards occupy the lower level. The crown and some other elements of the painting also show some Pahari influence.
This page most likely relates to Kamsa, the evil ruler of Mathura (in northern India). On the day Kamsa's sister Devaki was married off to Vasudeva, an akashvani, or voice from the sky, was heard prophesying that Devaki's 8th son would be the destroyer of Kamsa.
The frightened Kamsa immediately unsheathed his sword to kill his sister but Vasudeva intervened and implored Kamsa to spare his bride, and promised to hand over every new born child to him. Kamsa relented but imprisoned both Devaki and her husband Vasudeva. When Devaki gave birth to her first child, Kamsa came to the prison cell and slaughtered the newborn. In this way, he killed the first six sons of Devaki.
Image: 6 1/2 x 6 7/8 in. (16.5 x 17.2 cm); Folio: 16 x 12 5/8 in. (40.7 x 32 cm)
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