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Utka Nayika

Asian Art

This unfinished painting offers valuable information about the traditional techniques for creating Indian miniatures. Where the figure has not been painted, we can see the artist’s underdrawing on top of a priming coat of white. The drawing is very clean and precise, in thin, brush-drawn lines. The setting has been partially completed, with loose layers of pigment onto which details have been painted: the leaves on one tree, the stars in the sky. It is likely that lower-ranking artists took care of the background, while a master painter would have finished the main figure. The unpainted paper around the edges would have been covered with margins (either a thick coat of paint in a single color or strips of decorated paper).

The painting depicts a woman awaiting the arrival of her lover amid the dangers of the wilderness, represented by the jackal.
MEDIUM Opaque watercolor on paper
DATES late 18th century
DIMENSIONS sheet: 9 13/16 x 7 9/16 in. (24.9 x 19.2 cm) image: 7 1/4 x 4 7/8 in. (18.4 x 12.4 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Dr. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Indian. Utka Nayika, late 18th century. Opaque watercolor on paper, sheet: 9 13/16 x 7 9/16 in. (24.9 x 19.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, 36.241 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 36.241_IMLS_SL2.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 36.241_IMLS_SL2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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