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The Sadhika, or the Woman Dedicated to Practising Music

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The Sadhika, or the Woman Dedicated to Practising Music
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Item Code: HN97
Water Color Painting On Paper
Artist: Kailash Raj
5.9 inch x 8.3 inch
The lady portrayed here with Vina, a musical instrument made of strings, which associated with Saraswati, the goddess of learning, has a legendary origin, does not represent a courtesan or a court musician nor her music the means of sensual gratification. Whatever her personal identity she represents here a sadhika, a female musician who practises music with intrinsic dedication of a devotee more on lines of penance for spiritual elevation. Her portrayal is close to the personification of Todi Ragini, which again represents the Indian cult of the deification of music.

In her simple elegant costume the sadhika has on her face the glow of a penance doer. Her eyes are fixed in void away from all material objects. She is essentially in meditative demeanour and yogik posture, to which her bare feet, untied hair, paucity of ornaments, absence of all kinds of make-up and a bare floor without a carpet and unadorned chamber aptly correspond. Before striking the strings of her Vina she is invoking the presiding deity of music. The position of her feet too is a posture of yoga.

With her fair complexion, proportionate figure with well defined body parts, impressive height, prominent breast and slanting thighs, large eyes, broad forehead, attractive features, round face and thick hair she is the model of unique beauty. Drawn against the background of a beautifully patterned and painted column and a huge curtain in deep magenta the figure of the sadhika acquires greater projection and better contrasts. The painting is a magnificent work of art and reminds of oval faces and the simple subdued background of the Pahari medieval art.

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.

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