Property from the Collection of Betsy Salinger

An illustration to a Ragamala series: Todi Ragini, India, Deccan, circa 1680-1700

Auction Closed

October 26, 12:30 PM GMT


15,000 - 20,000 GBP

Lot Details


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.

Kapoor Galleries, New York, 1990.

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.