Monday, May 16, 2016

How to Read a Hindi Love Story

CHRISTIES
An illustration to the Sat Sai of Bihārī: Tossing a flower. Garhwal, north India, circa 1790-1800. 9 3/4 x 7 in. (24.8 x 18 cm.). Estimate: £10,000-20,000. This work is offered in Arts of India on 26 May at Christie’s in London
This work is from a famous series illustrating the Sat Sai, or Seven Hundred Verses — a poem by the Hindi poet Bihārī (1595-1663) which is perhaps the most famed and lyrical Indian celebration of love. It tells the love story of Radha and Krishna — the revered ‘God of Love’ — as well as focusing on aspects of religion and devotion. Central to the work is a description of the lovers’ reunion after a long period apart. This work shows the joyful encounter between Radha and Krishna in the palace courtyard, with a small white flower, just visible against the landscape, tossed into the air as a symbol of their happiness. In the background not far from the flower is a herd of cows, which are traditionally associated with Krishna. [link]

Krishna and Radha. Kishangarh, north India, circa 1760. The painting 6 1/2 x 4 3/4 in. (16.5 x 12.2 cm.); page 13 3/8 x 10 in. (34 x 25.5 cm.). Estimate: £7,000-10,000. This work is offered in Arts of India on 26 May at Christie’s in London