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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Virahotkanthita Nayika Yearning for her Lover
Work Type
c. 1770
Creation Place: South Asia, India, Rajasthan, Bundi
Persistent Link


Level 3, Room 3610, University Teaching Gallery
View this object's location on our interactive map

Physical Descriptions

Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
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
  • A Colloquium in the Visual Arts, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/02/2023 - 12/30/2023

Subjects and Contexts

  • Collection Highlights
  • Google Art Project

Verification Level

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