An Analysis and Reconstruction of the Dispersed Bhagavata Purana from the Caurapancasika Group

Ehnbom, Daniel J.

     This is a study of the earliest known illustrated version of Krsna's life as recounted in the Tenth Book of the Bhagavata Purana." It examines a set of "dispersed, sixteenth-century Bhagavata Purana illustrations," after introductory chapters that provide "some general historical background"; "recapitulate a few important points" about "the early development of Western Indian painting"; and "give a brief resume of the variety of scholarly opinion expressed over the last half-century" concerning the Caurapancasika. It is suggested that "the Dispersed Bhagavata is the product of ten different hands, here designated Painters A to J . . . . probably produced ca. 1520-30 A.D. in the Delhi-Agra region." After describing the artists, date, and place of production, the study turns "to a consideration of the iconographic issues of the Dispersed Bhagavata Purana. This does not pretend to be an exhaustive discussion of Krsna iconography, but is intended as a general background to clarify the place of the Dispersed Bhagavata in the broad area of illustrations of the Krsna story." The final chapter contains "a reconstruction of the dispersed Bhagavata Purana and critical descriptions of the miniatures.