Gita Govinda, Part 17


Sep 23, 2011 — CANADA (SUN) — Reprise of a 2005 month-long series on Gita-Govinda.

This striking painting illustrates the third verse of the ninth prabandha, in which the sakhi tells Krsna:

    "The strong wind of her own sighing
    Feels like the burning fire of love
    Krsna, Radhika suffers in your desertion."

The painter uses two different compositional patterns. He divides his space horizontally into the sky on the top and the Yamuna at the bottom. The central area of the dramatic action is divided vertically into different sections. Trees are used as dividers. The background is one smooth pink for the entire section.

In the first section, Radha sits on a bolster with her long slender arms limp with sighing. Two trees and sprays of branches frame her. Her expression is blank and it has none of the vivacity of Radha in the Jaur Gita-Govinda.

In the second section, a solitary peacock stares blankly at Radha. Indeed, the mood of Radha is recreated more through the presence of the peacock rather than by the figure of Radha, herself.

In the third section, the sakhi is describing the state of Radha to Krsna. Both hold one hand in hamsasya. The tiara of Krsna is reminiscent of tiara seen in some Moghul paintings, particularly the Razmanama, but there are no other similarities. The arrangement is formal and decorative. Thus, although pictorially the painting is more sophisticated and the transparent odhanis and other features of costume, coiffure, details of the trunk of the palm-tree, are indicative of greater painting skill, it lacks the vibrant warmth of the Jaur Gita-Govinda paintings.

In the Caurapancasika style, the Prince of Wales Museum Gita-Govinda (c. 1525 - 1575 A.D.) is the best. The paintings of that set reflect an inner and deeper understanding of the verses of the poem (see monochrome figure, below). Pictorially, also, their composition is more satisfying.


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