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