The painting here portrays with great vigour and quite realistically the ecstasy of sensuous love
, though it also involves some element of nudity. To the faithful one it represents the sportive act of the Divine, to the moralist a grain of obscenity and to the aesthetician a well-defined realism of life. He might find a small piece of paper boldly discovering on its surface a sensation so delicately felt within and so rarely made public. Whatever his cover or considerations the artist had for definite in vision some mortal couple in deep love but to evade moralistic allegations he substituted them with Radha and Krishna
, the divine lovers.
With Radha and Krishna as his model the artist finds it easy to blend with sensuousness the element of divinity. It becomes now easy for him to depict the desperate maid, Radha here, submitting herself to her lord, substituted here by Krishna, beyond all barriers and reservations. With the unnoticed strokes of his brush the artist lets his maid's garments slip from her bosom and most body part as if parched with the heat of passion within even they found it better to relinquish her. Indolent maid, yearning to unite in love with her lord, has deposited herself into his lap, and her lord with so much before him, mounds of gold, oceans of nectar and boundless delight, has his own dilemma. He desires to saturate his thirst but how he does not know. He lays upon her cool curly thick hair his parching forehead and on her invitingly inciting bosom his impatient hand and lost in eternal delight forgot to lift them everafter. The artist has avoided the use of any kind of formal element, the peacock feather crest etc., lest it affected the intensity of his depiction, though he has substituted it by a peacock couple inside his bed chamber.
The painting embodies the same old dilemma of visual representations once again. The canvas, if it desires to arrest a very personal experience, wild ecstasy, mad yearning, thirsty lips or parching bosom, as here in this painting, will have to bear either the charges of obscenity and nudity or will have to be unrealistic, colourless, vigourless. The medieval artist sought its solution in using the model of Radha and Krishna as his loving couple. They discovered in religious tradition itself what morality had otherwise tabooed off. The Vaishnava thought and other related traditions of arts, literature and devotion contemplating sensuous love as His lila and the prime means of spiritual realisation and various legends of Lord Krishna's sensuous infatuations and involvements had been of further help to him. The artist here has followed the same cult of the medieval artist. .
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain
specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of
numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the
curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New
Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.