This unfinished painting offers valuable information about the traditional techniques for creating Indian miniatures. Where the figure has not been painted, we can see the artist’s underdrawing on top of a priming coat of white. The drawing is very clean and precise, in thin, brush-drawn lines. The setting has been partially completed, with loose layers of pigment onto which details have been painted: the leaves on one tree, the stars in the sky. It is likely that lower-ranking artists took care of the background, while a master painter would have finished the main figure. The unpainted paper around the edges would have been covered with margins (either a thick coat of paint in a single color or strips of decorated paper).
The painting depicts a woman awaiting the arrival of her lover amid the dangers of the wilderness, represented by the jackal.
Opaque watercolor on paper
late 18th century
sheet: 9 13/16 x 7 9/16 in. (24.9 x 19.2 cm)
image: 7 1/4 x 4 7/8 in. (18.4 x 12.4 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Dr. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy
This item is not on view
Indian. Utka Nayika, late 18th century. Opaque watercolor on paper, sheet: 9 13/16 x 7 9/16 in. (24.9 x 19.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, 36.241 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 36.241_IMLS_SL2.jpg)
overall, 36.241_IMLS_SL2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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