indian art - miniatures - archecticture - vedic philosophy

Classical - Mewari - Gita-Govinda - Series One
Plate 13 - "Nibhrita... harsita hain."  


Next Picture

"Radha reaches the lonely forest grove, where He secretly waits for her. Her trembling eyes search for Krsna in all directions and then suddenly He appears, lovingly laughing."
The artist uses a new compositional pattern. A diagonal arrangement is used for situating Krsna as the slayer of Kesi. Radha and the sakhi continue to be placed in the right hand corner, but each time with a variation. The first two lines of each stanza are represented pictorially.
Krsna appearing from the secret darkness is the pictorial focus. He is seen behind bushes twice, and then a third time seated with Radha in the arched bower with dangling garlands. He appears a fourth time in the center of the painting. This time He is surrounded by other gopis. This last is the pictorial counterpart of the phrase 'madana manoratha ....' The arrangement of the trees and the foliage is markedly different from the preceding leaves. A dark night and thick forest groves are clearly in evidence. Also the passage of time, the search from bush to bush is competently recreated. The descending curve of the hillock supports Krsna's descending from a height to meet Radha.
In a set of drawings from Bundi this verse is recreated with a delicate subtlety. In that set, Radha is stealthily entering the forest grove. She is bent and the moment is beautifully arrested. In this Mewari painting the arrangement is more formal. Instead, Krsna's emergence is emphasized. A comparison of the several pictorial representations of the same verse throws interesting light on the level of comprehension and the range of imaginative pictorial possibilities it offers - each valid yet different.