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An opaque watercolor painting of two women in an interior space. A woman wearing a green dress and veil sits on a decorated chair in the center. At her side is a standing woman wearing a white dress and orange veil who is holding a narrow fan above the seated woman. There is a large window behind the women.

A rectangular opaque watercolor painting of two women in an off-white interior space. The floor is decorated with a small floral pattern and the walls have arched lines on it. One woman is wearing a green dress and veil and sits on a decorated chair in the center facing to the left. The outside of the couch is gold with floral details and the cushions have a small red floral pattern. She is looking down with her hands near her face and her right knee up. There is a small hookah on the left with its hose looped around it. On the right behind the woman is a standing woman wearing a spotted, white dress and orange veil who is holding a white, narrow fan above the seated woman. There is a large window behind the women that has a pink frame and pink floral curtain that it pinned up.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
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

Verification Level

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