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A painting from the Asavari Ragini
India, Kotah, second quarter of the 18th century
The blue-skinned goddess seated on a rocky outcropping between trees, wearing a peacock feather skirt, green blouse and multiple jewelry, her face mirrored by a halo, her staff by her side, holding up a white serpent, surrounded by further snakes of different colors wound around tree trunks, with birds in the lotus-filled river at the foreground and further birds above, backed by a rocky mountain
6 7/8 x 4 3/8 in. (17.6 x 11.1 cm.)
The Carter Burden Collection, sold at Sotheby's New York on 27 March 1991, lot 35.

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Lot Essay

This present example is from a Ragamala, a manuscript which depicts personifications of musical modes that are divided into male (ragas)and female (ragini) emotions. The emotions are variations on either the union or separation of lovers. In this painting, Asavari, a woman belonging to the Savaras tribe of snake charmers, entices the serpents from sandalwood trees. The cool skin of the snake she holds soothes the passion she feels for her lover.

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