The Mughal Empire (1526-1757) established studios at the imperial court to make miniature art inspired by the neighboring Persians. Schools of art also sprung up in the hill kingdoms across the north of India. The numerous small courts in the region offered opportunities for talented painters seeking new opportunities. There, artists developed a distinctive Pahari style of painting, which translates to "from the mountains." Surprisingly little is known about the authorship of individual series of paintings, and works cannot be assigned confidently to specific artists.
In this painting, the young woman, Radha, visits Krishna to borrow curds for fermenting milk. The poem for this miniature is as follows:
The unmatched brilliance of her earrings shines through her thin garment;
It seems as if a leafy branch of the Tree of Paradise is glittering on the ocean.
She looked at me smilingly, after turning back from the door-step;
She came to take curds, but she planted her love in my heart.
Krishna is the complete human incarnation of Indian Hindu deity Vishnu. While Vishnu takes many forms, Krishna is the best-known, and well-honored. Krishna is easily recognizable in paintings and illustrations due to his blue skin. Legends say it was caused by a poisonous milk he drank as a child. Hindu art frequently depicts Krishna's life, from his early years as a baby and active child to his latter years as a divine lover and faithful protector of the righteous. Each persona provided a unique way for believers to connect with their deity.