INDIAN ILLUSTRATED MANUSCRIPT LOVE STORY
some rubbing, the verses have worm trailing which does not affect the illustrations, concertina form 11¼ x 7 ins. red velvet covers worn,
The illustrations represent - 1. The discovery of the Heroine (Nayika) naked with her three handmaidens having just bathed, on the banks of a river by a young Nobleman (Nayaka) on a white horse, there are white birds in the river, the sky is cloudy. 2. The Heroine is in a garden, holding the fronds of a willow tree with two handmaidens. 3. The Heroine in a walled garden playing a game of "Blind Man's Buff", with three attendant, with two other women peeping over the wall. 4. The Heroine is pulled into the Bungalow leaving the swing in her garden, by an older woman, two herons fly upwards in the sky. 5. Again on the banks of the river the Heroine with a handmaiden playing, she is seen by the young Nobleman on a chesnut horse. Two herons fly upwards over some buildings. 6. Her Father seated on a carpet, is showing his daughter a letter he has receive, she has an attendant. 7. Under the Willow tree, the Heroine, with an attendant playing a stringed instrument, dancing before the young Nobleman. 8. The attendant presents the Nobleman with a sword and scabbard. 9. The Heroine is seated talking to a attendant, with another female attendant playing a stringed instrument. Three herons fly up in the background. 10. The Nobleman with two attendants is counselled by his Father. 11. The Heroine presents refreshment to her father on a carpet under a willow. 12 The Nayak and Nayika are seated together in a pavillion, toasting each other. This work is very similar to the Ragamala, a very singular Indian Art Form, combining poetry, music, and art. They appeared throughout India and their styles, classified by area, Rajastan or Rajput, Deccan and Mughal. Ragamala painting flourished throughout the royal courts of India in the late 1400s and dwindled in the 1800s, with the decline of aristocratic patronage, and the breakup and dispersal of the wealth under British Rule. These verses are mostly in iambic quatrains – the form familiar from the Rubaiyyat of Omar Khayyam – and of varying lengths, signed Sayyid Ali Hasan and dated AH1308 (17th August 1890 – 6th August 1891). With thanks for help with this note to Dr. Malini Roy, Dr. Muhammed Isa Waley and Dr. John Cameron.
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