Abdur Rahman Chughtai is remembered today as the most distinguished Pakistani artist of the 20th century, although much of his work reflects a common South Asian cultural heritage. His most desirable images portray famous personalities from Islamic history and scenes from religious and Mughal texts, often in exceptional compositions rendered with bold, flowing lines.
This alluring picture references the legendary archer Arjuna, one of the five Pandava brothers and the hero par excellence of the great Hindu epic Mahabharata. This scene conceivably portrays the contest which won him the hand of his first wife Draupadi, daughter of Drupada, King of Panchala. As aptly described by Joachim Bautze, Chughtai's romantic combination of colors are painted in "[...] delicious lines that seem to be less lines of painting than of some inaudible poetry made visible, in folds of drapery that are never mere coverings to or discoverings of the human body [...].' (James H. Cousins, Interaction of Cultures Indian and Western Painting 1780 - 1910, Virginia, 1998, p. 137)