Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Unknown Artist
Vasakasajja Nayika, page from a Natya Shastra (Drama Scripture) of Bharata Muni
Work Type
manuscript folio
19th century
Creation Place: South Asia, India, Himachal Pradesh, Kangra
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper; Pahari Style, Kangra School
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of John Goelet
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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At the center of the painting is a large gold chair. Its legs are delicately carved and its sides feature oval-shaped cartouches with flowering plants. It is upholstered in white fabric with red flowers and has matching side cushions. Seated with one leg up on the chair is a female figure, who represents the Vasakasajja Nayika, or the heroine that dressed up in preparation for union with her lover. She is wears a long green dress with red trim and a matching green headscarf. She is adorned with bracelets, pearl necklaces, earrings, rings, and a nose ring. The figure is in the process of applying kohl with her right hand. Draped across her lap is a white hookah pipe that leads to the base across from her. Behind her is a female attendant. She wears a white dress with small green flowers. Her translucent orange headscarf is loosely draped around her head, exposing her long black hair. Her right arm is extended and in her hand she holds a fly whisk about the seated female figure. She is also adorned with bracelets, arm bands, rings, earrings, and necklaces. The floor is covered with a white rug decorated with orange flowers and scrolling leaves. The white angular walls feature carved, decorative niches. Behind the seated female figure is an exposed balcony with a small ledge, beyond which can be seen blossoming cherry trees. Pahari Style, Kangra School.
Exhibition History

32Q: 2590 South and Southeast Asia, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 04/17/2019 - 11/06/2019

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at