Abhisarika Nayika

In this painting, Radha represents an abhisarika, a woman who fearlessly braves the dangers of the night to meet her lover.

Beneath clouds bristling with lightening and in a driving rain, Radha hurries across a rocky landscape, bunching her skirt up to keep it dry, even as snakes coil around her ankles. Four demons, one of whom breathes fire and another who wields a scythe, are in her path. On the painting’s upper left, Krishna, resplendently dressed in a fine muslin jama and gold turban, and with a yoga patta around his legs to help him sit comfortable, awaits Radha’s arrival from within a pavilion with a brilliant red interior.

The saffron-clad yogi in the cave at the upper right, who depicts a comparison within Keshav Das’ verse, embodies Radha’s equanimity in the face of danger.

Historical period(s)
1660
School
Mewar school
Medium
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W (painting): 20 × 36.2 cm (7 7/8 × 14 1/4 in) H x W (overall): 25.4 × 40.5 cm (10 × 15 15/16 in)
Geography
India, Rajasthan state, Mewar
Credit Line
Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection — funds provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries
Collection
Ralph and Catherine Benkaim collection
Accession Number
S2018.1.72
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Painting

Keywords
garden, India, Lakshmana, Ralph and Catherine Benkaim collection
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Kundus Gallery San Francisco, CA, US
Raja of Bikaner Bikaner, Rajasthan state, India
Catherine Glynn Benkaim
Ralph and Catherine Benkaim

Description

In this painting, Radha represents an abhisarika, a woman who fearlessly braves the dangers of the night to meet her lover.

Beneath clouds bristling with lightening and in a driving rain, Radha hurries across a rocky landscape, bunching her skirt up to keep it dry, even as snakes coil around her ankles. Four demons, one of whom breathes fire and another who wields a scythe, are in her path. On the painting’s upper left, Krishna, resplendently dressed in a fine muslin jama and gold turban, and with a yoga patta around his legs to help him sit comfortable, awaits Radha’s arrival from within a pavilion with a brilliant red interior.

The saffron-clad yogi in the cave at the upper right, who depicts a comparison within Keshav Das’ verse, embodies Radha’s equanimity in the face of danger.

Inscription(s)

Recto: five lines of nagari on a yellow panel at the top of the page.
Verso: in Nagari: ja 86/ a 7 Sam 1751 asu sambhaliya.

Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Rights Statement

(not entered)