Along the Ghats, Mathura is the first Edward Lord Weeks painting LACMA has ever acquired. Weeks was a leading late nineteenth-century American-born Orientalist who is best known for his paintings of India created during the 1880s and 1890s—this painting is undated but was likely created in the ’80s.
Weeks’s typical palette was rich in sunlight, vivid blue skies, and sparkling stonework, and Along the Ghats, Mathura is no exception. The work reveals Weeks’s fascination for the aesthetics and symbolism of water; he set many of his most famous Orientalist scenes on rivers, many of which have religious significance in India. In this painting, his narrative is at a ghat (the steps that lead down to a holy body of water) at the Yamuna River. Also interesting to note is that Mathura was the birthplace of Lord Krishna.
Along the Ghats, Mathura is now on view on the third floor of the Art of the Americas Building.