Abhisarika Nayika, a Heroine Longing for Her Lover

The Indian predilection for the categorization of experience is demonstrated here by a Nayika, one of a large group of heroines who epitomize various aspects of the ardors of love. The artist skillfully arranged the shapes of the shawl so that they make a comma-shaped opening in which a portion of the shoulder and the head of the Nayika are revealed. It leads the eye toward her gaze and from there down to her flexed hand, which alone reveals her ardor.

Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper


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Metropolitan Museum of Art

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