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Radha's Longing: Miniature Painting

Radha Longing: Miniature PaintingDimensions : 10 x 7 Inches

This miniature painting belongs to the Pahari School of Indian paintings inspired by the famous lyric poem ‘Gita Govinda’. In this beautiful art work, we get a glimpse of Radha’s longing for her beloved Krishna. Krishna plays with the Gopis in their colorful costumes, while on the left, Radha in gold and red sits complaining to her friends about the waywardness of her lover. The lush natural beauty serves as a background for the great drama of love. The technical proficiency of this painting is evident in the perfect harmony achieved in the theme and articulation. Adding to the richness of the theme is the

color of gold that has been derived from pure 24k gold dusts.

About the Painting:

Gita Govinda was composed by Jaydev, the court poet of the Sena King, Lakshmanasena (A.D. 1185-1206), based on Bhagavata Purana. This is regarded not only as poetic composition of great sensitivity and lyrical charm, but also as a new trend in the growth of Vaishnavism and the Bhakti cult in medieval India. The enchanting lyrics sing of the eternal sports of Krishna – the Lord, in an imaginary garden of Vrindavana, with Radha and the Gopis. The supreme message is that of a passionate love for the beloved that transforms bare sex impulses into ecstatic religious fervor. The rich imageries, the pen pictures of the landscape, and the treatment of various stages of love rendered these songs a rich repertoire for Indian artists to draw upon. With the spread of Vaishnavism, the Gita Govinda came to be regarded as a popular pictorial theme in various art centers like Rajasthan and Gujarat. The style naturally varied with the provenance, but every attempt was made to accentuate the predominant theme of the poem, namely the all-absorbing love of Radha and Krishna.

In the first half of the 18th century, the Gita Govinda was illustrated in an extensive series, which is in the Basohli style of Pahari Painting. However, The highest point of artistic expression in the Kangra style was achieved in the series of which the featured painting is a part. The original paintings are from the collection of the Maharaja of Tehri-Garhwal.

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