Indian artists and poets have showed exceptional ingenuity in weaving around the sportive Radha and Krishna hundreds of modes and ways of the love-game. They manifested in Radha and Krishna every situation of love that they could have thought of. Here in the painting divine lovers Radha and Krishna have been represented in mutually exchanged attires, Radha wearing Krishna’s Pitambara – yellow wear, and his Kulhadara cap crested with peacock feathers and his long white Vaijayanti and his lotus flower in hand, and the blue-complexioned Krishna, Radha’s red zardozi lehenga and golden odhani, and even the pendant on his forehead, an strictly female ornament, as also Radha’s earrings and neck ornaments.
The scene is laid around the banks of river Yamuna, on one side of it is the habitat of Vrij, and on the other, a grove of trees laden with flowers and Malini creeper entwined around. Radha is coy by nature and with a bent face and with fingers of her left hand supporting his chin as a coy maiden does, Krishna is feigning coyness. In the vocabulary of art aesthetics this vision of Radha and Krishna is symbolic of one sharing the essence of the other. A fuller view of the divine drama the artist has painted them as standing against a highly romantic landscape, the green meadow rising up and down, a distant town, and a close-by grove of trees. Though lit like a full moon night, there is in the sky the half moon against a patch of blue clouds as also a few stars. The painting has the same softness of colours, landscape and figural beauty as have Kangra miniatures of Pahari art.
This description is by Miss Indra Vats. She has a deep interest in Indian art and iconography and is currently working at the National Museum of India, one of the premier organizations engaged in the curation and protection of Indian heritage.
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