Lot 43
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Ragini Asavari

Watercolour on paper
10.5 x 7 in (26.6 x 17.7 cm)

The Tandan Collection

R C Tandan, The Art of Vijaivargiya, Allahabad: Allahabad Block Works, 1935, pl. 9 (illustrated)

Vijaivargiya's Ragini Asavari shows Asavari seated on a mountain with snakes coiling around her. This treatment of the subject has its roots in Ragamala paintings which were popular among Rajput painters in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the Ragamala paintings, a raga is represented by a scene or a person. Writing about a collection of paintings from the 18th century depicting Asavari Ragini, Waldschmidt writes, "The heroine having fled into solitude appears in a natural scenery, often on the shelf of a rock or the peak of a mountain. Sometimes she is dressed like a lady of distinction (Fig. 105), but in other cases she is naked, apart from an apron of leaves or peacock-feathers in the fashion attributed to members of primitive tribes. Generally she is seated, seldom standing or moving (Fig 106), always associated with snakes which she allures from her neighbourhood, drawing them into her vicinity or near to her body, mostly talking instructively to a favourite one." (See Figs. 105 - 110, Musical Inspiration II, pp. 282 - 189)

The context of the mountains is explained on the obverse of a late-seventeenth century miniature in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where "Asavari is longing for her husband, and climbs the Malaya mountains. All the snakes desert their sandal trees, and writhe and coil their bodies." (AKC, Asavari Ragini, from a Ragamala series, late 17th century, Malwa, Central India. Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.Acc. No. 17.2913)

Vijaivargiya's themes "...have a wide range, grading from the spiritual at one end to the almost erotic at the other, all characterised in their execution by a certain suppleness and grace of lines." (Tandan, Vijaivargiya, p. 4)

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  Lot 43 of 70  

14 DECEMBER 2015

Rs 12,00,000 - 15,00,000
$18,185 - 22,730

Winning Bid
Rs 14,40,000
(Inclusive of Buyer's Premium)


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