The painting illustrates the opening lines of the GIta Govinda in which Jayadeva describes how the love of Radha and Krishna began.
naktam bhirurayam tvameva
tadimam radhe griham prapaya
ittham nandanide satas
yamunakule rahah kelayah
"The sky is overcast by thick clouds. The woodlands are black with tamala trees. This boy Krishna is afraid of the gloom of the night. So, Oh Radha, take him home. Such was the command of Nanda, the herdsman. Thus arose the love of Radha and Krishna who, as they passed through the forest, sported in the bowers on the bank of the Yamuna."