A Lady Playing the Tanpura

Date: ca. 1735

Culture: India (Rajasthan, Kishangarh)

Medium: Ink, opaque and transparent watercolor, and gold on paper

Dimensions: 18 1/2 x 13 1/4 in. (47 x 33.7 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1996

Accession Number: 1996.100.1


As a nayika (archetypal heroine), this figure personifies the ideal of feminine beauty as conceptualized in Indian devotional poetry of the period. She strums a tanpura and wears elaborate jewelry and sheer textiles, clearly placing her as a member of the court. At the same time, there is the allusion that she is Radha, the divine consort of Krishna, who was important to these Kishangarh patrons.