Indian artists produced a small body of erotic imagery for their royal patrons, usually in the same courtly styles used for other subjects. This scene of lovemaking comes from a series that is painted in the bold, minimalist style of the Malwa region. Seventeenth-century Malwa paintings almost always feature figures inside a small pavilion, with flat, decorative elements to one side and below and little or no sense of spatial depth. They are like simple stage productions, but painted with a sophisticated palette that makes much use of subtle juxtapositions of color. Here, the hot red of the bed pops against the cool blue of the interior, which in turn glows against the black of the night. The exuberant flowers might reflect the blossoming of the couple’s passion.
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
8 x 6 1/8in. (20.3 x 15.6cm)
Other: 5 3/8 x 5 1/2 in. (13.7 x 14 cm)
Other: 8 x 6 1/8in. (20.3 x 15.6cm)
Other: 14 1/4 x 19 1/4in. (36.2 x 48.9cm) (show scale)
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Indian. Love Scenes, 1660-1680. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, 8 x 6 1/8in. (20.3 x 15.6cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift, 84.201.3 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 84.201.3_IMLS_SL2.jpg)
overall, 84.201.3_IMLS_SL2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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