This painting is from Gita Govinda series of Kangra paintings illustrating verses of Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda which is a unique lyrical work of highly literary genius. Its rich imagery, entrancing music, and passionate love pictures have given joy to millions. Krishna is the human soul who engages in amorous sport with village maidens, representing the delights of the illusory world. He ignores Radha, who is the personification of intellectual and moral beauty. When ‘reminded’ by the messenger, he returns to Radha, who weans him away from the pleasures of the world of senses. Ultimately Krishna is freed from sensuous distractions and his union with Radha, the personification of divine love and beauty, takes place.
This painting illustrates following verse from the Gita Govinda in which Radha’s companion is describing sports of Krishna with other damsels in spring. The dark mango trees, clasped by gay flowering creepers quivering with joy, burst out in tender purple shoots. Resting in the dark foliage of trees are pairs of love birds. In the centre is Krishna, wearing a garland of wild flowers descending to the mantle that girds his azure body.
“Look, Radha! One gopi is firmly embracing Krishna with intense attachment. Pressing the heavy burden of her voluptuous breasts against Krishna’s chest, she has begun to sing with him in the fifth musical node.”