Museum Practice

Edwin Binney 3rd Collectionof South Asian paintings, 1990:786 These paintings are just some of nearly 2000 works in The San Diego Museum of Art's world-class Edwin Binney 3rd Collection of Indian paintings. A selection from this collection is always on view in the Museum's galleries.

Written in Hindi by Keshavdas in 1591, the Rasikapriya classifies heroes and heroines in different stages of maturity or experience and describes their varying reactions to similar situations. Most of the attention is given to the reactions of heroines, who are cleverly analyzed in circumstances caused by the hero (the blue Krishna every time), as a very aggressive lover, and often a philanderer. Keshavdas describes 360 circumstances of love. He composed the work to entertain his patron, the Raja of Orchha.

The episodes usually involve not only the hero and heroine (Krishna and Radha) but her female companions, or sakhis, as well. They serve as confidantes and messengers for the lovers. In the upper register Radha is longing for the stand-offish Krishna, and with the advice of the sakhis, boldly takes the initiative, going to him with her vina to please him with music.


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