A Sexual Encounter

Such paintings as this were not made for titillation, but for education in the art of sex. They illustrate postures described in various sexual manuals, such as Vatsyayana’s well-known “Kamasutra.” In this Malwa picture the lovers are engaged in the act on a bed that sits in a pavilion with a peacock on its roof beside a tree. A yellow panel along the top was clearly meant to include a description. The band below is adorned with a white meandering vine on red ground. Both figures have fair complexions, but he is more tanned than she.

Pigments on paper


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Walters Art Museum

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