An illustration to Gita Govinda
Nature is in its full exuberance, blooming with fragrant and colourful flowers, in the sylvan surroundings of the forest. It is time for Krishna to approach his beloved Radha who, clad in a lovely green full-sleeved dress with an ample skirt, is awaiting Krishna, coyly arranging her ornaments. On this starlit night, she prepared a bed of leaves and decorated it with flowers. She seems a little ill at ease in the great expectation of the approaching moment. On the other side, Duti, the messenger is signalling to Krishna to go to Radha. She is dressed in a green and orange skirt and has wrapped a transparent golden odhani around her. Their graceful movements, their ornaments particularly the ear ornament, sprays of flowers on the trees and thick but well-balanced vegetation, and several pairs of birds reflecting the mood of the time, mirror the artistic achievements of Kangra paintings of the late 18th century.
The moods of Radha and Krishna are projected in the classification of Nayak and nayika– hero and heroine. The nayikabheda (moods of heroine) is referred to in Gita Govinda and classified extensively by Keshavadasa in Rasikpriya. The nayika who is waiting for the lover to arrive is called Vasaksajja which means a nayika who has prepared her bed. Another folio of this series is in the K.P. Goenka Collection.
Indian Miniature Paintings
Opaque watercolour on paper
Indian miniature painting
Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
Full page: 36.5 x 28 cms. Painting: 32 x 24.2 cms.