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THE GALE OF LOVE. Kangra, c. 1820. Victoria and Albert Museum
THE GALE OF LOVE


A lady has been resting in a courtyard when a dust-storm has suddenly arisen. The hot wind is rushing in the trees, tossing the branches and driving a cloud of dust across the sky. An attendant is quickly letting down a blind while the three maids gather up the sheet, handkerchief and pan box and make for shelter. The lady herself is scuttling inside, buffeted by the gale which sweeps and roars about her. As in Plate Ј, all this imagery is intended to symbolize a state of mind. The lady's loneliness is suggested by the open empty rooms and it is the 'storm of love', the strain of lonely longing, rather than an actual physical storm which tears and racks her body. To this frenzied state of mind, the angular composition is a perfect parallel while the lady's rushing movements exactly echo the frantic agitation of her feelings.