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Arts of Asia

The MFAH collections of art from China, India, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia reflect Houston’s diverse communities. Ancient and contemporary works are displayed together to create innovative juxtapositions.


Attributed to Fattu, eldest son of Manaku
Indian, 1725 - 1790
The Siege of Mathura by Jarasandha
Gouache with gold on paper

11 3/4 x 15 7/8 inches

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Gift of Ann Roff, Isla and Tommy Reckling, Barbara E. Butler, and various other donors

Arts of Asia

This painting is part of a series of illustrations based on the Bhagavata Purana, the Hindu epic that details the exploits and adventures of Lord Krishna. This scene depicts the battle that took place after Krishna killed the demonic king Kamsa, who ruled over the city of Mathura.

Kamsa's two wives, Asti and Prapti, were the daughters of the mighty Jarasandha, King of Magadha in the east. Upon hearing that Kamsa had been murdered, Jarasandha swore revenge against Krishna and led his army to attack Mathura, where Krishna remained. Here, Krishna and his brother Balarama prepare to face the formidable enemy as Jarasandha’s army prepares to storm the fortress walls. Though Jarasandha and his army fight boldly, in the end they are no match for Krishna and Balarama.