The painting portrays an early hour of a summer evening somewhere around the Gangetic plains where grow mangos in abundance. The background is suggestive of a topography comprising mounds and perhaps consequential ravines that emerge after a mighty river like Ganges erodes the land around its course. Shrubs scattered far and near further affirm this character of the land. With hardly anything to be done at harem, the royal damsel is out for a pastime with two of her trusted attendants, one carrying bow and arrows, and the other, a tray. Adept in archery, she is out for trying her shots and plucking in the process also some mangos for sheer enjoyment direct from the trees by hitting them with her arrows. The maiden giving her the arrow, and the other, showing her a mango that shot by her arrow had fallen into her hands, have their eyes fixed on the royal damsel; however, she has her own eyes fixed on her target – the mangos that she has a mind to shoot. For breaking monotony, the artist has created around the centre a flowering plant with a pair of white pigeon-type birds perching on it, besides innumerable small shrubs strewn allover the background. A colourful quiver, lying close to the royal damsel and the maid giving her arrows, serves as connector between them.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.
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