Devi with Krishna and Vishnu in a Palace

Historical period(s)
ca. 1645-1655
Mandi school
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
H x W (overall): 42.2 × 29.8 cm (16 5/8 × 11 3/4 in)
India, Himachal Pradesh state, Mandi
Credit Line
Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection — funds provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


Devi, India, Krishna, palace, Ralph and Catherine Benkaim collection, Vishnu

From 1969 to 2001
Ralph Benkaim (1914-2001), Beverly Hills, California, purchased from dealer, Chhote Bharany, New Delhi, India in the United States in November 1969. [1]

From 2001 to 2018
Catherine Glynn Benkaim, Beverly Hills, California, by inheritance from Ralph Benkaim. [2]

From 2018
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, partial gift and purchase from Catherine Glyn Benkaim. [3]


[1] According to information from Catherine Glynn Benkaim dated May 23-24, 2016: all of the Benkaim Bharany paintings were bought in the United States. According to Benkaim, the dealer, Chhote Bharany had two children who went to school in California and relatives in New York City. He brought a lot of paintings to the west. He might have kept caches of paintings in the United States.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See Acquisition Justification Form, object file, Collections Management Office.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Ralph (1914-2001) and Catherine Benkaim
Chhote Bharany New Dehli, India
Catherine Glynn Benkaim


This painting is an intriguing amalgamation of Hindu devotional imagery and Mughal style.

Four Hindu deities are enthroned like rulers on an inner veranda of a white marble palace. From left to right, the deities are young Krishna with his characteristic peacock-tipped crown, the Goddess (Devi) holding shield bow, sword, and arrow; and Vishnu seated together with Lakshmi. The lion and Garuda vehicles of the Goddess and Vishnu are represented in the position reserved for important courtiers in Mughal paintings.Inspired by imperial painting, the delicate contours, small-headed figures, and the profile (rather than frontal) representations of deities makes the figures more akin to rulers than gods.

Published References
  • Catherine Glynn Benkaim. "Early Painting in Mandi". vol. XLIV, 1. pp. 21-64, figs. 27, 30.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
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