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A SITUATION. An illustration to the Rasamanjari of Bhanu Datta. Basohli School: about 1690. Victoria and Albert Museum
A SITUATION


In the remote Hill state of Basohli, in the Western Himalayas, two of the qualities of Rajput paintings were outstanding till the year 1700: felicity of composition and the brilliant juxtaposition of colours. If some of the intimacy and the dance-movement of the School of the Rajput Plain are here missing, there is an even greater emotional tension. The male figures generally preserve the fashions of the period of Jahangir (1605-28). Colour is used as a flat pattern and great play is made with white and with transparent muslins. But some linear patterns of an almost arabesque character occur, as on the canopy here shown. The subject is an illustration to a work composed somewhere between 1200 and 1350 by quite a well-known author on the subject of Rasa, here meaning the various states (literally flavours) of love.
The painting is only datable by reference to the Nayika series dated 1694, referred to in the text, It seems to be at least as early as this. The largest collection of these Nayika paintings from Basohli is at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and in the Lalbhai collection at Ahmedabad. A note at the top seems to record the name of the painter Viradatta, son of Ujjvaladatta.