Rajasthan, Bundi or Kotah
mid 18th Century
Opaque pigments heightened with gold on paper
Image: 10 by 5 7/8 in. (25.4 by 14.9 cm.)
Folio: 12¼ by 6¾ in. (31.1 by 17/2 cm.) unframed
Provenance: Estate of Dr. Claus Virch, Kiel
The month of Asadh is the start of the monsoon season in the sub-continent, and corresponds to late June/late July in the Gregorian calendar. Thus, in the present example, monsoon rains accompanied by rolling thunder and flashes of lightning disrupt the flight of two white cranes in the background. While Krishna trysts with a sakhi in an elaborate pavilion to escape the deluge, a solitary nayika resolutely keeps guard outside as peacocks cry in the undergrowth. In the foreground, Vishnu reclines with Lakshmi in a shrine in a pond filled with lotus flowers. At the upper left is depicted an ascetic practicing yoga and being called upon by two noblemen.
Compare the Baramasa painting also depicting Asadh the rainy month, now in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in Alice Heeramaneck, Masterpieces of Indian Painting formerly in the Nasli M. Heeramaneck Collections, Verona, 1984, pp. 26 and 67, pl. 59.