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A20 Bala Krishna, 9.6cms, South India, 16th – 17th century.

Krishna is worshipped as the eighth avatar or incarnation of Vishnu whereby he incarnated as a baby into a family of cow herders in Northern India. Many stories are told of his childhood, but one that seems to have been particularly popular tells of his wandering away from his mother and stealing a ball of butter.

Bala means baby or child and this small sculpture depicts the child dancing with one foot on a lotus and holding the ball of butter in his right hand. The sculpture is very finely detailed and its beautiful green patina suggests that it has probably been buried.
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