A courtesan sees a reflection of his lover and himself in the mirror
Pigments on paper
India, Bundi, circa 1800
Height: 21,5; Width: 15,5 cm
Provenance: formerly in a US California collection
This charming genre scene is depicting the lover and voyeur, caught by the woman who is turning her back at him thanks to the mirror she is looking at. She is taking care over her dress so that her lover will be pleased when he sees her. He is already pleased, watching her prepare to meet him.
Another painting from the Edwin Binney 3rd Collection is kept in the San Diego Museum of Art (1990.686). According to Amina Okada and Roselyne Hurel, this shubhâdarshana theme has its origins in the episodes of the story of Krishna and Radha. Some ragas also depict this type of scenes.
According to Okada and Hurel, the pond with lotus in the foreground, the plentiful vegetation behind the walls and the important presence of white in the palette is typical of Bundi during the second half of the 18th century.
See: Okada, A. & Hurel, R., Exhibition Catalogue, Nice, Musée des arts asiatiques (From the 23d November 2002 to the 23rd February 2003) Pouvoir et Désir – Miniatures indiennes du San Diego Museum of Art, Paris: Paris-musées & Suilly-la-Tour: Ed. Findakly, pp. 100-101.