The handsome Vrindavan cowherd spends time with His beloved Radha. They are sitting together on a wide-set swing hanging from a temple-ceiling structure. With one arm He draws Her closer to Himself, encouraging Her to hold His flute. This She does with great demureness: Her fingers are gently touching the closer end of His flute, and Her head is shyly turned away from Him.
The Radha-Krishna iconography bears some special hallmarks. The peet silk dhoti is one of them. So is the swing and a mysterious yet amorous location, which could range from the shade of a kadamba tree to the moonlit terrace of a palace such as in this Thanjavur painting. The inky black nightsky brings out the colours and the metallics in the foreground.
The gold leaf embellishments in this painting make this an authentic work of Tanjore art. The same are to be found in Radha’s flowing skirts, and the hems of Krishna’s angavastram and the crown on His head. The temple-entrance structure framing the figures and the swing on which they are seated have been executed with gold-inlaid gessowork.
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