Lot 214
  • 214

Scene from the Bhagavata Purana: The Kauravas Confer

20,000 - 30,000 USD
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  • Scene from the Bhagavata Purana: The Kauravas Confer
  • Opaque watercolor heightened with gold on paper
  • image 11 7/8 by 16 5/8 in. (30.3 by 42.2 cm)
  • folio 12 1/4 by 17 in. (31.1 by 43.2 cm) unframed
This illustration from the Mahabharata depicts a series of intense meetings within the Kaurava fold. Within the walled palace complex of Hastinapura on the upper left we see the blind King Dhritarashtra conferring with the Kuru elders Vidura, Drona, Bhishma who are no doubt advocating a peaceful resolution to the internecine conflict between the Kauravas and their cousins the Pandavas. In an adjacent chamber, seen at lower left, the bellicose Kaurava general Karna appears to be giving exactly the opposite counsel to the Kaurava brothers Duryodhana and Duhshasana. On the upper right Dhritarashtra passes along the elders' sage counsel to the younger group but the latter appear to be in no mood to listen as they are on the warpath.

The bold outlines, expressive treatment of facial features and use of inscriptions within the image to identify the main protagonists are all stylistic elements associated with the master artist Purkhu of Kangra. The present illustration appears to have been created by a follower of his.

For another illustration to the Mahabharata, of earlier date, possibly by Purkhu and set in similar narrative style, see P. Pal, S. Markel & J. Leoshko, Pleasure Gardens of the Mind, Los Angeles, 1993, cat. 17, pp. 56-57.