Vasant Ragini: Folio from a ragamala series (Garland of Musical Modes)

Here Krishna dances to the beat of a drum and cymbals played by women standing at either side of him. The new shoots emerging out of the pot Krishna holds in one hand and the flowering trees above the figures are iconography consistent with the ragini’s association with spring festivals celebrating the coming abundance. Malwa paintings of this period break space into sections, such as the central field of bold color behind the protagonists, and nature is often presented in terms of pattern, as seen with the band of blooming lilies at the bottom of the sheet.

Ink and opaque watercolor on paper


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Metropolitan Museum of Art

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