The Heroine Who Waits Anxiously for Her Absent Lover (Utka Nayika)

Inspired by devotional poetry that likens the waiting for divine favor to that of a woman alone in the forest waiting for her lover, Pahari painters mastered portrayals of this subject. Darkness has fallen, but the moon and stars and jasmine flowers brighten the night. However, monsoon clouds approach in the distance, suggesting impending danger and misery. Her gesture and expression suggest a mixture of hope and heightened uncertainty about how much longer she should continue to wait.

Gum tempera and gold on paper


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Cleveland Museum of Art

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