Collection Online

Pilgrim's necklace depicting the Hindu god Krishna in the form of Sri Nathji
(19th century)

pigments on paper, silver, alloy, glass, cotton thread
38.0 × 21.2 × 1.0 cm
Place/s of Execution
Nathdwara, Rajasthan, India
Accession Number
Asian Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Michael Abbott, 2008
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Gordon Darling Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
Physical description
Necklace is made from cotton and five square metal amulet casings containing miniature paintings on paper. The paintings are protected by glass. The miniatures represent the seasonal celebrations (utsavs) which are observed at Nathdwara in Rajasthan. These celebrations form part of the devotional calendar of worship centred on Sri Nathji, a form of the Hindu god Krishna. Sri Nathji is the primary deity of the Pushti Marg or Vallabhacarya sect of Hinduism. Each of the miniatures depicts Sri Nathji in different dress, with appropriate accessories associated with a particular darshan or a festival. The painted images are initially produced in the form of tiny books illustrating the form of Krishna known as Sri Nathji. The books are produced as devotional reminders for pilgrims visiting the Sri Nathji havelis or shrines in Nathdwara, a town in Rajasthan which is the centre of worship of this form of Krishna. In order that the image of the god may be constantly in close proximity to the devotee, these small books are frequently dismantled and the pages mounted by metalworkers in glass fronted amulets which are then strung onto necklaces, as seen in this example.