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Princess Damayanti and the Swan Messenger

Y. G. Srimati Indian

Not on view

This scene depicts a moment in the romance between Nala and Damayanati, an episode (upakhyana) from the Mahabharata. Characterized as an epic within an epic, the story explores the catharsis of emotions as experienced by the king, Nala, and his lover, Damayanti. Their romantic entanglement has been engineered by the swan, who acts as messenger between the two. Srimati drew on the stylized figure-type of the sixth-century Ajanta cave murals, creating an image that is overtly sensual.

Princess Damayanti and the Swan Messenger, Y. G. Srimati (Indian, 1926–2007), Watercolor on paper, India (Chennai)

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