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The month of Magha. January/February.

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1999,1202,0.1.3

  • Title (object)

    • The month of Magha. January/February.
  • Description

    Painting from an album bound in red striped fabric containing 14 miniatures; with 11 Baramasa (Song of the seasons) paintings (paintings 2 to 12), 1 from Mewar, 2 from thikanas. Opaque watercolour on paper.

    The artist has captured the mood of Vasant panchmi (a spring festival) by depicting men and women throwing rangoli (coloured powder) on each other, while trays of green and purple rangoli lie ready for use. Peacocks and other birds are on trees in the background, bees hum over the heads of the lovers and musicians, females play various musical instruments and sing in anticipation of spring.

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  • Date

    • 1700-1725 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 29 centimetres (painting including grey and white margins.)
    • Width: 20.2 centimetres (painting including grey and white margins)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Devanagari
      • Inscription Position

        top
      • Inscription Language

        braj bhasa
      • Inscription Translation

        Forests and gardens echo the sweet notes of the peacock, pigeon and koel (a bird). The poet Keshavdas says that bees are humming around as if they have lost their way. All ten directions are scented with musk, camphor and sandalwood. The sweet sounds of the mridanga and other musical instruments are heard throughout the night. Young men and holy men, all celebrate the festival of Vasant. The nayika says to her beloved, 'If you love me, do not leave me in the month of Magha.'
      • Inscription Comment

        Verse from poet Keshavdas of Orchha's poetry on Barahmasa. Translation taken from Dwivedi, V.P., 'Barahmasa, The Song of Seasons in Literature and Art.' 1980.
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Devanagari
      • Inscription Position

        first page
      • Inscription Language

        hindi
      • Inscription Comment

        Mentions 12 baramasa paintings, the first painting is wrongly included
  • Curator's comments

    Paintings 2 to 12: The Maharajas of Amber (later Jaipur) served under Mughal armies in the Deccan for prolonged periods of time. This may have led to Deccani influences in their works. See Ebeling, K. 1973, p.79 and Pratapaditya Pal, 'Pleasure Gardens of the Mind, Indian Paintings from the Jane Greenough Green Collection', Los Angeles, 1993, p.105 for examples of Amber paintings from this period. Niches with inset flowering plant painted on white walls and soft shading are Mughal influences. The lavender tree trunks, mauve and purple coloured powder are Deccani influences.

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  • Bibliography

    • Ebeling 1973 bibliographic details
    • Ahluwalia 2008 p. 83, fig. 46 bibliographic details
  • Subjects

  • Associated titles

    • Associated Title: Baramasa
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1999

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1999,1202,0.1.3

Painting from an album bound in red striped fabric containing 14 miniatures; with 11 Baramasa (Song of the seasons) paintings (paintings 2 to 12), 1 from Mewar, 2 from thikanas. Opaque watercolour on paper.

The artist has captured the mood of Vasant panchmi (a spring festival) by depicting men and women throwing rangoli (coloured powder) on each other, while trays of green and purple rangoli lie ready for use. Peacocks and other birds are on trees in the background, bees hum over the heads of the lovers and musicians, females play various musical instruments and sing in anticipation of spring.

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Object reference number: RFI35248

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