Opaque watercolor heightened with gold on paper
Acquired from the Royal Library of Mandi in 1969
The present and three following illustrations are from the Sunder Shringar, a poem detailing the moods of love and the classification of heroines or nayika bheda, composed in the mid-seventeenth century by the poet Sunder Kavi, a contemporary of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. In the present series, the characters of Radha and Krishna are used to present idealized notions of courtship and romance between the hero and heroine, which are celebrated in the poem.
There is a striking similarity between the present series and the famous Tehri Garhwal Gita Govinda album (see lot 205), which depicts another epic poem on the divinity of love, rendered in the same exquisite palette and delicate style. The refinement of the present group suggests that the artist was at least aware of the other series and may have even worked in that court atelier during the same period.
For other illustrations from the same series see Sotheby's New York, April 1, 2005, lots 110-113; September 20, 2005, lots 106-109; March 29, 2006, lots 149-152; September 19, 2006, lots 1-5 and March 19, 2008, lots 205-208. Another illustrated album on the same subject is reputedly in the collection of the Allahabad Museum.
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