Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Virahotkanthita Nayika Yearning for her Lover
Work Type
c. 1770
Creation Place: South Asia, India, Rajasthan, Bundi
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper; Rajput Style
image: 24.3 x 15.8 cm (9 9/16 x 6 1/4 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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On a terrace and under a moonlit sky with two flying cranes is a Virahotkanthita Nayika (“One Distressed by Separation”), a heroine who waits and yearns for her lover to return from a long journey. She dramatically reclines across a cluster of large pillows. Her head rests back to face her female attendant who is slightly bent over her. The heroine is bare-chested and wears a green skirt as well as elaborate jewelry. She holds in her right hand the mouthpiece of a hookah. Rajput Style.
Publication History

Naveen Patnaik and Stuart Cary Welch, A Second Paradise: Indian Courtly Life, 1590-1947, Doubleday & Co. (Garden City, NY, 1985), page 104, 183/figure 35

Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), page 92/figure 99

J.C. Harle, The Art and Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent, Penguin Books (London, England (?), 1986), pp391, 570, fig. 310

James Cuno, Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Ivan Gaskell, and William W. Robinson, Harvard's Art Museums: 100 Years of Collecting, ed. James Cuno, Harvard University Art Museums and Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (Cambridge, MA, 1996), page 152-153

Steven Kossak, Indian Court Painting, 16th-19th Century, exh. cat., Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1997), Page 118-119/Figure 73

Masterpieces of world art : Fogg Art Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1997

Hideji Takakai, ed., Nimai no E---Two Paintings, Mainichi Shinbun Sha. (Japan, 2000), pp 126

Stephan Wolohojian and Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Harvard Art Museum/ Handbook, ed. Stephan Wolohojian, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, 2008), p. 127

B.N. Goswamy, The Spirit of Indian Painting: Close Encounters with 101 Great Works, 1100-1900, Penguin Books India (Haryana, India, 2014), pp. 436-439, ill. opp. p. 437, ill. pp. 438, 439

Exhibition History

Ambassador's Choice: The Galbraith Collection of Indian Painting, Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 02/15/1986 - 04/06/1986

Gods, Thrones, and Peacocks - Revisited: Northern Indian Miniatures from two Traditions, Fifteenth to Nineteenth Centuries, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 03/31/1990 - 06/10/1990

Poignant, Picturesque, and Berserk Northern Indian Paintings and Objects of the Seventeenth through Nineteenth Centuries, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/08/1992 - 10/04/1992

From India's Hills and Plains: Rajput Painting from the Punjab and Rajasthan, 17th through 19th Centuries, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/04/1993 - 10/31/1993

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

Indian Court Painting: 16th-19th Century, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 03/24/1997 - 07/06/1997

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

The Sensuous and the Sublime: Representations of Love in the Arts of the Middle East and Southern Asia, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 07/07/2001 - 12/30/2001

Women in South Asian Art, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/26/2017 - 01/07/2018

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Google Art Project

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at