Vasant Ragini, Page from a Ragamala Series (Garland of Musical Modes)
early 17th century
India (Rajasthan, Amber)
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
9 13/16 x 7 7/8 in. (24.9 x 20 cm)
Friends of Asian Art, Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Saul Gift, 1999
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 251
Vasant (spring) is evoked here by the dancing nobleman playing the role of Krishna in celebration of the coming of spring, witnessed by the flowering plants in the foreground, the flowers in the nobleman’s headdress, and the golden vessel with flowers balanced on his raised hand. The allusion to Krishna is secured by the nobleman’s skirt of peacock feathers, which are closely associated with the playful god, and the circular grouping created by the female musicians accompanying him; together, they consciously recall Krishna’s rāslīlā dance with the gopis.