Three ladies are portrayed in bold relief against the stark but intense background characteristic of early Basohli-style paintings. The two attendants are attired in bright dresses and pearl ornaments, but, except for similar jewelry, the mistress is completely nude. Seated in profile on a crimson cushion on a footed stool, she proffers her left foot to the kneeling attendant. The standing maid behind cools her mistress with a flywhisk held in her left hand while her right holds a golden cup. A jug and two pots are placed in the left foreground. While it is not uncommon to find isolated pictures of ladies engaged in their toilette, the inscriptions on this painting may indicate that it once belonged to a series. The Takri inscription on top has been read by Ohri as “parimangalam” or “pagamangalam,” meaning “auspicious in every respect” or “auspicious foot,” respectively. Since the kneeling maid is attending to the lady’s foot and an anklet rests on the stool, the second reading is more relevant. Most likely this was the first in a series showing the heroine adorning herself.
Pigments with betel leaf on paper