A GROUP OF SEVEN DOUBLE-SIDED ILLUSTRATIONS TO THE RASIKAPRIYA OF KESHAV DAS, INDIA, MALWA, 1634
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE CALIFORNIA COLLECTION
A GROUP OF SEVEN DOUBLE-SIDED ILLUSTRATIONS TO THE RASIKAPRIYA OF KESHAV DAS
INDIA, MALWA, 1634
Opaque watercolor on paper heightened with gold
image: 7 by 5 ⅜ in. (17.8 by 13.7 cm)
folio: 8 ⅝ by 6 ⅝ in. (21.9 by 16.8 cm) and smaller, , unframed
Sotheby’s New York, 24 September 1997, Lot 193
The group of seven double-sided illustrations depicting the varied moods of lovers (nayakas and nayikas) as related by the poet Keshav Das in his compendium of courtly love – the Rasikapriya. This text, believed to have been composed around 1591, deals with love in all its aspects. The ideal lovers portrayed in the poems, and paintings inspired by this literature, are Krishna and his beloved Radha and the poet describes the moods, sentiments and emotions of various stages of their lovemaking in vivid detail. The Rasikapriya became a very popular genre of romantic literature in Rajput courts and was the subject of numerous albums created in Rajput ateliers over the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Most of the folios from this particular album are in the collection of the National Museum, Delhi, with dispersed leaves in the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Seattle Asian Art Museum. Another set of these illustrations was sold at Sotheby’s New York, November 30, 1994, lot 251. Also see Sotheby’s New York, March 17, 2015, lots 1116-1118 and March 16, 2016, lots 781-784 for more Rasikapriya illustrations from the series, formerly in the collection of Dr. Claus Virch.
For further references see J. Guy, R. Crill and D. Swallow, Arts of India 1550-1900, London, 1990, no. 116, W. G. Archer and E. Binney 3rd, Rajput Miniatures from the Collection of Edwin Binney 3rd, Portland, 1968, no. 40, and J. Bautze, Lotosmond und Lowenritt, Stuttgart, 1991, no.55.