Abhisarika Nayika

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About the painting:

Heroine Rushing to Her Lover (Abhisarika Nayika )
Indian, Pahari, late 18th century
Attributed to: The Family of Nainsukh

Kangra style, Punjab Hills, Northern India
Overall: 19.5 x 29.5 cm (7 11/16 x 11 5/8 in.)
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

A woman walks in a wooded area on a stormy night. She turns to look behind her. Two snakes at her feet raise their heads to stare at her. She is flanked by groups of trees; the one behind her (where she looks) consists of two trees that are embracing with their branches. The theme of Abhisarika Nayika depicts a woman who is willing to cross the wilderness at night in order to meet with her lover. The snakes represent the dangers she must brave in order to satisfy her desires, while the stormy weather and the embracing trees represent her passionate nature.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston