Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya


Krishna Sheltering Radha from a Storm

Rajasthani, Mewar

1700-1710 CE


Though depicting somewhat stiff and stunted human figures, the painting is lively with colour and movement. The gopas have come to the forest and are seated, covered with a blanket, near a fast-flowing rivulet or probably the river Yamuna which bends sharply at the left. Cows and calves of variegated colours have also drawn near to drink water. The westerly monsoon wind is blowing, bending the trees to the right. Krishna, standing under a tree, covers Radha with his kari kamari, the black blanket usually carried by cowherds. On the other side, a bed of leaves is prepared for them in a beautifully decorated arched pavilion and he is seen again in the centre, leading Radha to it. His black blanket is blowing about with the wind and can hardly protect them.

Dressed in bright yellow and orange attire, Krishna and Radha are set against the dark brown background typical of the Mewar school. Rain clouds have gathered in the sky, brightened by lightning which appears like golden snakes. The text of the inscription above the painting is probably from a composition by one of the saint poets of the Vallabhacharya sect.

Translation of Hindi inscription at the top:

The cool breeze is blowing, the bed of leaves is

prepared, protecting her with a black blanket as

she is thoroughly drenched, Krishna is now

leading Radha to the bower

Black Buck and the Doe

Black Buck and the Doe

Mughal; Late 17th century CE


Though not very uncommon, the black buck or the Indian antelope with dazzling colour and spiraled horns is often portrayed by the Mughal artists. It is the most beautiful of all the varieties of antelopes and is considered a sacred animal in northern India.

The black buck with a dark brownish black coat is strutting behind the fawn coloured doe, throwing his head upwards till his horns almost touch his back. The artist has not failed to paint his face glands, widely opened at this time of his rut period in February or March. The doe walking ahead is also enjoying the same mood. Both of them carry their neck straps with a ring in front to chain them when required. Fine anklets provide delicate adornment to the female for the delight of the master or the onlooker.

There is an elaborately decorated Qita on the reverse by Nishat Muhammad.

The verse is a prayer for the welfare and good health of the king.

May object


The ‘Sunfish’ is a deep sea dwelling fish which is rarely found on the surface of the sea. This fish was caught in an unknown fisherman's net, who dumped the fish at the Sassoon dock when no one was willing to purchase it. Mr. Ganesh Nakhwa, the President of the All India Persian Fisher Welfare Association and a fisherman, understanding the rarity of the species approached the Museum via the Mumbai edition desk of the Marathi daily newspaper Tarun Bharat'.

The specimen has been identified as Bump-head Sunfish or Southern Sunfish which is rarely seen in the marine ecosystem of the state of Maharashtra. This sunfish can reach up to 3.3m in length and 2300kg in mass, making it one of the two heaviest bony fish on Earth. This specimen was about three feet long and weighing thirty kilograms. Their food consists of jellyfish, squids, mollusks and small fishes.

May object



Nagapattinam, Tanjavur District

Tamil Nadu

10th century CE

60.8 x 19 cms

Gift from the Collection of Smt. Amaravati Gupta

Acc. No.B 67.4

This sculpture from a stupa at Nagapattinam provides important artistic evidence of Chinese and the Southeast Asian connections with India. An inscription records that a Chinese king constructed a stupa for Chinese traders, who arrived here during the reign of the Pallava king, Narsimavarman II (690–720 CE). Marco Polo observed this inscription in the 13th century. Though the characteristics of the Buddha standing on a double-inverted lotus are familiar, the rendering reveals foreign influences. The most remarkable feature is the flame-like ushnisha above the hair. Variations in the depiction of both hands, raised in the abhaya and the chintana mudra near the waist, are a distinct Southeast Asian feature. The image was probably gilded. The artist could have been Indian or Javanese.

April object



Andhra Pradesh

12th century CE

26 * 58 * 55 cms

Acc No 90.7/4

Saura-Pitha is one of the unique sculptures which does not depict a divinity or a decorative figure. Saura-Pitha in fact symbolises astronomical concepts expressed through religious imagery. The rising and setting of the sun provided directions and its revolution through various radical signs determined the time of the day. Both the correct direction and the right direction were computed by drawing a circle on a plain ground with gnomon fixed in the centre of the circle. The shadow of the gnomon would move proportionately with the movement of the sun and would therefore, indicate the time.

This sculpture or pitha is divided into three levels: a square base, octagonal structure in the middle and above it is a circular panel having a carved circle or chart made of lotus petals, symbolising the sun. The top circle has sixteen equidistant segments pointing to sixteen directions. Around the circle are carved the figures of the twelve constellations through which the sun makes his sojourn in one complete day of twenty four hours.

harappan jewellery


Agate, Carnelian, and Shell

Mohenjodaro, Harappan civilization

Circa 3200- 1500 B.C.E

CSMVS Collection

Over five thousand years ago, a highly refined civilization flourished on the banks of the River Indus and its tributaries. Mohenjo Daro, Harappa, Lothal, and Kalibangan were thriving centers of trade,

commerce, and artistic excellence. The discovery of beads made from semi-precious stones like carnelian, jasper, and agate, and exquisitely crafted gold, silver and terracotta ornaments reveal the antiquity of adornment in India.