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AN ILLUSTRATION FROM A RASIKAPRIYA SERIES: RADHA UPBRAIDS KRISHNA FOR GOING WITH OTHER WOMEN
AN ILLUSTRATION FROM A RASIKAPRIYA SERIES: RADHA UPBRAIDS KRISHNA FOR GOING WITH OTHER WOMEN
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AN ILLUSTRATION FROM A RASIKAPRIYA SERIES: RADHA UPBRAIDS KRISHNA FOR GOING WITH OTHER WOMEN

INDIA, PAHARI HILLS, GULER, MASTER OF THE FIRST GENERATION AFTER MANAKU AND NAINSUKH, CIRCA 1750-60

Details
AN ILLUSTRATION FROM A RASIKAPRIYA SERIES: RADHA UPBRAIDS KRISHNA FOR GOING WITH OTHER WOMEN
INDIA, PAHARI HILLS, GULER, MASTER OF THE FIRST GENERATION AFTER MANAKU AND NAINSUKH, CIRCA 1750-60
Folio 10 x 7 ½ in. (25.4 x 19.1 cm.)
Image 8 ¼ x 6 in. (21 x 15.2 cm.)
Provenance
Pahari Paintings from the Eva and Konrad Seitz Collection – Part II; Francesca Galloway, Asia Week New York, 9-17 March 2017.

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Lot Essay

Today your eyes are red as if painted in the colors of mahavar. Either you were awake all night or you fell at someones feet and the mahavar from her feet came into your eyes. I am brimming with love and anger. Tell me, your eyes are red because of longing for me or is it because you love someone else?
Rasikipriya 7,18. Translation by Harsha V. Dehejia
In his captivating epic on love and jealousy, the Rasikapriya, the Hindi court poet Keshavdas (1555-1617) describes a heroine, or nayika, as one of eight types according to the state of her relationship to her hero, or nayaka. The Khandita Nayika, or “One Enraged with her Lover,” describes a heroine incensed after their partner spends the night in another woman’s company.
In Indian painting, particularly in the Pahari region, the divine lovers Radha and Krishna take on the roles of nayika and nayaka in Rasikapriya or Ashtanayika (“Eight Heroine”) series. In the present painting, an offended and upset Radha rebukes Krishna for his infidelity as he returns to her doorstep in the early morning. Krishna’s eyes carry a slight red flush from sleeplessness, while his bright red lips suggest he has been kissing another woman’s hennaed feet, recalling classic depictions of Krishna hennaing Radha’s feet, Svadhinapatika Nayika (“One Who has her Lover in Subjection”).
Another page from this series is in the Museum Rietberg, Zurich (see H. Dehejia, Rasikapriya: Ritikavya of Keshavdas in Ateliers of Love, New Delhi, 2013, p. 264) , several are in the Konrad and Eva Seitz Collection, while another, Vipradlabdha Nayika (“One Deceived by her Lover”), is in the Jagdish and Kamla Mittal Museum of Indian Art (acc. no. 76.279, illustrated by Seyller and Mittal in Pahari Paintings in the Jagdish and Kamla Mittal Museum of Indian Art, Hyderabad, 2014, p. 216, cat. 74). Seyller suggests the series is the work of Kama, the son of Nainsukh, demonstrating strong influences from Nainsukh himself — sensitive modeling of the figures’ faces— yet softer than the styles of his other sons Ranjha or Khushala or Manaku’s son Fattu. The painting’s indigo border is also indicative of the period in Guler painting circa 1760-1780.

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