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A VILLAGE SCENE. Rajasthani detail from an illustration to the Hamza-nama: a huge Islamic manuscript executed for the Emperors Humayun and Akbar. About 1570. Painting on cotton. Victoria and Albert Museum
A VILLAGE SCENE


Hitherto unnoticed in the corner of a painting in early Mughal style representing the Giant Zamurrud sleeping in this village scene. These two girls drawing water from a well are wholly Rajputin costume, hairdressing, and above all in style. The vigorous attitudes, the sharply projecting elbow of the one, and the stretched arms of the other, contrast with the smooth and curving gestures of Mughal and Persian figures. The counter-change of the dresses, white and red and red and white, seems to detach the figures from the background and to make of them and their simple waterpots a noteworthy composition. The eyes are rendered in the convention which is found in the early. Rajasthani miniatures. The bending figure has a costume astonishingly similar, even to the pattern detail, to that found in the illustrations of an interesting early manuscript of the Sanskrit love poem called Chaura-panchasika. (N. C. Mehta Collection.) By reference to this and to Plate 3, it is easy to distinguish the transparent white scarf floating behind her back, the large earrings, armlets, bracelets and anklets and the long braided pigtail.