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Asian Art

Radha as a Mature Heroine Rushing to Meet Her Lover (Abhisarika Nayika)

late 18th–early 19th century

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

7 3/4 × 11 1/4 in. (19.7 × 28.6 cm)
Katharine Ordway Collection
At first glance, this painting appears to be a scene showing the blue-skinned seated god Krishna with Radha, his principal lover. Such images serve as representations of the lives of Krishna and Radha as well as the visual manifestation of a human soul (symbolized by Radha) longing for a union with the divine. However, an inscription on the back of the painting identifies it as an illustration of the archetypal heroine, or nayika, rushing to meet her lover. The painting can thus be read from two perspectives; the god and his consort may also stand in for human lovers.
Mughal dynasty (1526–1857)

Katharine Ordway (1899–1979) Collection, Weston, Conn.; bequest in 1980 to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


Lesley K. Baier, The Katharine Ordway Collection, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1983), 114, 117, no. 99.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.