Apsara with Harp

Y. G. Srimati Indian

Not on view

Srimati explored musical themes early in her career as a painter. Although this work has its ultimate source in the sixth-century religious murals in the caves of Ajanta, it is far removed from the Buddhist preoccupation with narrative. The dark-skinned celestial musician echoes figure-types seen at Ajanta, while the setting, a balconied roof terrace under moonlight—note the god Shiva’s crescent moon in the upper right—references later Rajput miniature painting. Ultimately, the work is about neither of those historical references, but rather is concerned with the visual representation of music. This is Srimati’s homage to ragamala painting.

Apsara with Harp, Y. G. Srimati (Indian, 1926–2007), Watercolor on paper, India (Chennai)

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