Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Krishna Killing a Demon with a Cow

Oh, the great deeds of mighty heroes. From India, c. 1800. In the Wellcome Collection.


G. Verloren said...

I think this actually depicts Krishna as a child slaying the demon Arishtasura, who merely took the form of a bull, and then when slain his soul appeared to Krishna in humanoid form to address him before departing to the afterlife.

Unless I'm mistaken, it would be very weird for Krishna to use an innocent cow as a weapon, given their sacred status in Hinduism.

John said...

Maybe so, but that's not what the Wellcome Center says, and their version is so much more amusing.

Facts! Why must I be troubled with them?

G. Verloren said...

I could be mistaken, of course - I'm certainly no expert on Hinduism.

But it really does seem that I constantly encounter museums and other organizations that get their details wrong seemingly because they don't even put in the absolute minimum amount of effort to confirm what they think something is. I'm just an armchair enthusiast cross-referencing things with guesswork and Google, and yet even that seems to be more effort than these "experts" and "authorities" seem to make.

That said, it does seem to me that I tend to encounter this problem more in relation to non-Western things. If that's an accurate perception, maybe it tells us something about the priorities and biases of our historical institutions and organizations...