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Illustration from a Nayika Series, Lone maiden wrapped in shawl, Guler

Opaque pigment on paper heightened with gold

Image 17.5 x 10.5 cm. ; folio 26 x 18 cm. Circa 1800

Seated on a low platform near a small silver censor and warmed by a brasier full of glowing golden and red coals, the maiden is lost in thought. She is almost entirely enveloped by a heavy mauve shawl that appears in striking contrast to the cold marble balcony and pale blue sky. Despite the solid mass, the shawl reveals the contours of her body formed by her extended knee and bent right elbow, while a thin fold of gilt-lined green material escapes at her back. Although slightly obscured by her raised right hand, a suggestion of a smile is evident. The promise of spring and perhaps reunion with her lover is represented by the blossoms emerging between the plantain leaves and the row of red poppy flowers. Compare the voluminous treatment and colour of her shawl and bolster tassels with a page in Victoria and Albert Museum, (I.S. 202-1949) in Vishaka Desai. Life at Court: Art for India’s Rulers, 16th -19th Century, Boston, 1985, no. 75, p. 94. Also compare with another lone maiden wrapped in a mauve shawl within an interior setting entitled ‘The Winter Season’ in Robert Skelton, Indian Miniatures from the XVth to XIXth Centuries, Venezia, 1961, pl. 86