The month of Phalgun. February/March
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- The month of Phalgun. February/March
One of a series of eight paintings bound in an album. The series are from a 'Baramasa' set or 'Songs of the seasons' providing visual imagery for Baramasa poetry. The main theme is that of nayakas' and nayikas' (lovers) love in union and in separation and their relationship with the months of the year.
Under a starry, moonlit sky Radha and Krishna as nayika (heroine) and nayaka (hero) are shown twice here. In the foreground they play holi with women on a terrace, squirting coloured liquid at each other through golden syringes. Seated on a terraced pavilion they play with a child being presented to them by a woman. Below the pavilion revellers make merry while a bonfire burns in the distance.The white architecture with zigzagging yellow, orange and maroon decorations painted as borders on walls, serves as a convenient backdrop for the festivities. A peacock and peahen perched on the rooftop are awakened by the noise of the revellers below. Lit oil lamps and flares indicate the late hour as do the stars and moon in the night sky. Fountains are painted around the terrace in the foreground. The blue skinned Krishna, avatara of Visnu , wears a golden crown with three lotuses on top of an orange turban, gold slippers and a transparent white jama over gaily striped pyjamas. Radha and the women wear brightly coloured skirts, blouses and transparent veils outlined in gold paint. Gold is also used on the orange awning, chair, the bonfire, lamps and architectural details giving the painting an opulent look.
- 1675-1700 (circa)
- Made in: Bundi District
- (Asia,South Asia,India,Rajasthan,Bundi District)
- Height: 30.5 centimetres (page)
- Width: 21.5 centimetres
- Height: 26.3 centimetres (painting including black and white margins)
- Width: 17.3 centimetres
Inscription Positionfront page
Inscription ContentAlbum no.10
Inscription Languagebraj bhasa
Inscription TranslationRich and poor make merry without a care in the world. Speech is free and unrestrained. Young men and women in every home play holi with great abandon, snatching at each others garments and smearing each others faces with coloured powder. The fragrance of the scented powders (gulal, abira etc.) fill the air. The nayika (female) says to the nayaka (male) 'In such a season of merry making, you should not think of leaving home, my love.'
Inscription CommentPoetry on Baramasa by Keshavdas of Orchha (samvat 1612-1674.) Translation taken from Dwivedi, V.P., 'Barahmasa. The Song of Seasons in Literature and Art'. Agam Kala Prakashan. 1980.
This series seems to be drawn, composed and coloured by one artist and is so similar to a Bundi Baramasa painting in Pal, P. 'Dancing to the Flute', p.88, as to suggest them belonging to the same series. The similarity in foliage depiction, architectural details such as the predominant use of white and green, patterning on walls and rooftops, Krishna's face presenting a distinctive profile with large Bundi eye and prominent nose in all paintings in this series point to the hand of one master artist. Krishna's crown on top of an orange turban is present in all of the paintings including the one in Pal, '97, which further corroborates these belonging to the same series. This early Bundi series has a vibrant spirit that is imparted by the interplay of brilliant colours, intense emotional cross currents between the lovers that convey the bhakti or devotion of the times, and a lyricism that makes the paintings come alive. The emphasis on diagonal lines impart movement; the lush vegetation and sensuous figures all contribute to the dynamic vibrancy of these works. The figures are modelled and shaded after Mughal painting to impart volume.
2 August 2007
Reason for treatment
Mount - Overthrow - RInlay - Slot
- Associated Title: Baramasa
- Associated Title: Songs of the Seasons
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Object reference number: RFI35238
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