Posted on: 14 December 2013

Painting, month of Karttik, Baramasa, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Bikaner, ca. 1725

This is an illustration to a set of paintings known as barahmasa or 'twelve months'. They use the activities of lovers and nature to illustrate the months and seasons. This page, from a dispersed set, shows the month of Karttik, roughly equivalent to November/December. Here a nobleman is visiting a lady at her home. Outside two women are drawing a floor design (rangoli) in rice paste, and a couple are playing a board game called pachisi or chaupar. The festival of Diwali falls during Karttik, and it is traditional to play games, and often make a bet, at this time.

The style of the painting is typical of Bikaner in Rajasthan in the early 18th century, and appears to be the work of the court artist Murad.

Copyright: © V&A Images

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