Identification and Creation
Object Number
Unknown Artist
Chitrini Nayika, page from a Rasikapriya (Handbook for Poetry Connoisseurs)
Work Type
manuscript folio
18th century
Creation Place: South Asia, India, Himachal Pradesh, Kangra
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper; Pahari School, Kangra Style
image with border: 27.4 x 18.3 cm (10 13/16 x 7 3/16 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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Seated on a yellow floral carpet and against a large, cylindrical gold pillow decorated with purple irises is a female figure. She is known as a chitrini nayika, or a heroine gifted in the arts of music, poetry, singing, and/or dancing. Here, the heroine is shown playing a tumbi, a type of string instrument. She wears a long, sea foam green dress with gold decoration, a translucent green shawl that is draped around her body, earrings, bracelets, and a necklace. Behind her is a female attendant with a pink dress and gold decoration, a pink translucent shawl, and adorned with jewelry. In her right hand, she carries a white scarf, a symbol of the nayika’s royal status. In front of the nayika are three other female attendants. One in a pink dress kneels and pours liquid into a small cup. One in a white dress carries a gold box encrusted with jewels in her left hand. The third attendant, dressed in yellow, carries a tray of roses. The figures are gathered on a white terrace that overlooks a large pond with ducks that weave through large lotus pads, blossoms, and buds. In the background is a vast and rolling landscape with a white structure on the left. Below the terrace are four white niches filled with plants with pink and purple blossoms. Pahari School, Kangra Style.
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 92/figure 53

Naveen Patnaik and Stuart Cary Welch, A Second Paradise: Indian Courtly Life, 1590-1947, Doubleday & Co. (Garden City, NY, 1985), page 108, 183/figure 37

Abby Sue Fisher, Asia & Spanish America: Trans-Pacific Artistic & Cultural Exchange, 1500 - 1850, ed. Ronald Otsuka and Donna Pierce (Denver, 2009), p. 177, fig. 3

Exhibition History

India: From Tribe to Court, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 01/01/1981 - 01/01/1981

Out of the Hills: Miniature Painting from Himalayan India, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 05/26/1984 - 07/08/1984

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

Infancy to Old Age: A Gallery of Indians, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/27/1993 - 04/25/1993

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

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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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