An illustration to a Ragamala series: Todi Ragini, India, Deccan, circa 1680-1700
What is guaranteed?
gouache heightened with gold on paper, gold and yellow borders with black rules, gold painted margins
painting: 24.2 by 14cm.
leaf: 27 by 16.5cm.
In good overall condition, evidence of worming on borders with associated retouching, small areas of staining, particularly apparent on grey background, small areas of loss upper right corner and very minor areas of rubbing, lady and deer crisp and clear, as viewed
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Under a dark, moonlit sky shrouded with clouds, a beautiful nayika, dressed in luxurious finery, sings and plays her golden vina so enchantingly that she mesmerises two deer who succumb to her hypnotic melody and beauty. Her expression of longing for her absent beloved is underscored by a pair of intertwining willow trees with clusters of spring's fresh pink blooms. Beneath her feet is a row of alternating pink and purple flowers.
The intricately ornamented vina is particularly noteworthy, creating a powerful abstracted visual element at the centre of the composition - glowing in gold against the darkness of the nighttime background. The viewer’s eyes are immediately drawn to the instrument that our lovesick heroine employs skillfully to mesmerise both animal and human alike.
The precise execution of the vina as well as that of the maiden’s face and attire, especially her richly patterned sash, reveal the work of an extremely skillful hand. The two deer display a sense of exquisite Mughal naturalism. This painting is likely by a Mughal-trained artist active in a vibrant Deccani atelier.