Illustration to the 'third' Rasamanjari of Bhanu Dutta: The intoxicated courtesan Attributed to Devidasa<BR />Opaque watercolor, gold, silver and beetle wing cases on paper, Basohli, Circa 1695
Lot 83
Illustration to the 'third' Rasamanjari of Bhanu Dutta: The intoxicated courtesan Attributed to Devidasa
Opaque watercolor, gold, silver and beetle wing cases on paper, Basohli, Circa 1695
Sold for US$ 68,500 inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Illustration to the 'third' Rasamanjari of Bhanu Dutta: The intoxicated courtesan
Attributed to Devidasa
Opaque watercolor, gold, silver and beetle wing cases on paper, Basohli, Circa 1695

The mature maiden seated in a relaxed open pose on a silver platform against a red bolster, held by the arms by an attendants who offer her more wine. One seated maiden offers wine to another who raises her hand in refusal. The group are set against a green wall decorated with vases -filled niches and surrounded by white faceted turrets, yellow awning and flowering shrubs.
8 ¼ x 11 ½ in. (21 x 29.2 cm)

Footnotes

  • The illustrated text of the Rasamanjari is centered upon the popular theme of the hero and heroine (nayaka–nayiki) and expounds upon the many aspects of love (longing, separation, rejection, etc). The compositions are noted for their contrasting fields of solid color, lyrical figures and applied lustrous green beetle wings and the jewel-like raised dots of shell-lime.

    As noted by Archer in The Loves of Krishna in Indian Painting and Poetry, London, 1960, p. 106 "The text in question is a treatise on poetics illustrating how romantic situations should best be treated in Sanskrit poetry—the conduct of mature mistresses, experienced lovers, sly go-betweens, clowns or jokers being all subjected to analysis.." The present lot shows a mature nayika so distressed by the absence of her lover that she spends her days intoxicated to numb the pain.

    Archer goes on further to state (ibid, 105) "This series of illustrations is in some ways a turning point in Indian painting for not only was it to serve as a model and inspiration to later artists but its production brings to a close the most creative phase in Basohli art".

    Four other pages from the same series in distressed condition are in the Lahore Museum (see FS Aijazuddin, Pahari Paintings and Sikh Portraits, London, 1977, nos. 3(i-iv). Also see W. G. Archer, Indian Paintings From The Punjab Hills: A Survey and History of Pahari Miniature Painting, Delhi, 1973, nos. 15(i-v).

    Provenance:
    Private Collection
    Acquired from Doris Wiener, New York, 1981
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