Identification and Creation
Object Number
Unknown Artist
Abhisarika Nayika Entering a Forest
Work Type
19th century
Creation Place: South Asia, India, Himachal Pradesh, Kangra
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper; Pahari Style, Kangra School
26.35 x 18.57 cm (10 3/8 x 7 5/16 in.)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of John Kenneth Galbraith
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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The Abhisarika Nayika is a heroine that sets aside her modesty and moves out of her home, braving all kinds of difficulties, to secretly meet her lover. Here, under the moonlight, she is about to enter a forest on the left. She wears a long white dress, a striped shawl that covers her hair and is draped around her shoulders, a head ornament, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and armlets. Her left hand holds an edge of her shawl, while her right hand is held to her chin, signifying her fear and hesitation of journeying into a forest in the dark. Two quails stand near her. A female attendant sees the nayika off. The attendant wears a pale yellow dress with a long yellow shawl with gold dots that covers her head and shoulders. In the foreground is a silvery pond covered with lily pads and lotus blossoms. Pahari Style, Kangra School.

Publication History

Stuart Cary Welch and Milo Cleveland Beach, Gods, Thrones, and Peacocks Northern Indian Painting from Two Traditions, exh. cat., Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1965), page 111/figure 81

Evelyn Rosenthal, ed., Harvard University Art Museums Annual Report 1994-1995, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1996), page 27

Exhibition History

The Grace of White: Indian Paintings and Objects, 16th-19th Centuries, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 07/23/1994 - 09/29/1994

Rasika, the Discerning Connoisseur: Indian Paintings from the John Kenneth Galbraith Collection, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/31/1998 - 04/05/1998

32Q: 2590 South and Southeast Asia, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/07/2018 - 04/17/2019

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