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THE EXPECTANT HEROINE. Kangra school: early nineteenth century. Painting on paper. Lady Rothenstein collection

Such illustrations as this of the various states of lovers were favourite subjects of the Pahari painters. Several Sanskrit writers had defined these states before Kesava Das composed his poetical descriptions of the Eight Nayikas in the sixteenth century. Here the expectant lady gazing into the moonlit countryside is probably Vasahasayya Nayika—she who waits by the bed. As Coomaraswamy has rendered his poem: 'The heroine stands at the door of her home, happy in the expectation of her darling's coming.' The bed and sleeping maid are rather crowded in a corner of the background.