start page
GIRL PACING IN A GROVE. Illustration to the Indian musical mode, Gauri Ragini Malwa, Central India, c. 1650. Gopi Krishna Kanoria Collection, Calcutta
GIRL PACING IN A GROVE


The present picture takes a stage further the process illustrated by Plate 6. The band of scroll-work has become more floral. The trees are equally distorted but are more surging and luxuriant. Trunks are still a rich brown but the red frond-like creepers timidly protesting against a black and yellow screen have become a series of jaunty sprays madly cavorting in a dance of spring. Two herons cumbrously speeding across the sky reinforce the general mood of agitationЧa mood suggested by the eager peacocks anxiously eyeing the strutting girl.
As in Plate 3, the central figure personifies music, here interpreted as a girl holding two wands made by impaling flowers on a twig. Her elaborate tassels and Ion? swinging garlands invest her with the same exuberant and florid richness suggested by the tossing trees, while her vigorous walk conveys an impression of passionate energy. In Indian poetry, peacocks were conventional images for lovers Ч their need for rain expressing the anguish of desire, while herons, as birds connected with water, had similar significance.