The Departure of Damayanti for Nishadha, from a Nala-Damayanti Series

Historical period(s)
Pahari School
Ink and color on paper
H x W: 22.2 x 33.4 cm (8 3/4 x 13 1/8 in)
India, Punjab Hills, Himachal Pradesh state, Guler
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


drum, India, lute
Provenance research underway.

This drawing is one of a series that illustrates the love story of the heroic Nala and the beautiful Damayanti, a tale that forms part of the renowned Hindu epic, The Mahabharata (Great Story of the Bharatas). The heroine Damayanti is shown leaving in a palanquin for her new home after the completion of her wedding ceremonies. The artist has used the convention of continuous narrative to depict a sequence of events. The heroine's husband Nala watches the preparations from a balcony at the top left, but he is also shown in his carriage at the upper right. Preceded by trumpeters, he is surrounded by attendants carrying the wedding gifts. 

Published References
  • Masters of Indian Painting. Exh. cat. Zurich. vol. 2: pp. 687-718.
  • Schuyler Cammann. Ancient Symbols in Modern Afghanistan. vol. 2 Washington and Ann Arbor, 1957. p. 22, note 63.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 80, pp. 136-137.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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