Wedding Preparations: folio from a Nala-Damayanti series

Historical period(s)
Guler Court
Pahari School
Opaque watercolor on paper
H x W (drawing): 22.4 × 33.6 cm (8 13/16 × 13 1/4 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


bathing, cooking, drum, India, lute, marriage, Nala Damayanti

To 1930
Ajit Ghose, Calcutta to 1930 [1]

From 1930
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Ajit Ghose, Calcutta in 1930 [2]


[1] Object file, undated folder sheet note. See also Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Ajit Ghose


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). Using the convention of continuous narrative that was popular at many Rajput courts, the artist has portrayed Damayanti three times as she prepares for her wedding. At the very center a group of attendants bathe Damayanti; at the upper left she is being dressed and adorned by her companions; at the lower right she is led out to the marriage ceremonies.

Published References
  • Masters of Indian Painting. Exh. cat. Zurich. vol. 2: pp. 687-718.
  • Alvan Clark Eastman. The Nala-Damayanti Drawings: A Study of a Portfolio of Drawings made for Raja Samsar Cand of Kangra (1774-1823), Illustrating an Early Indian Romance
    . Boston. pl. 6.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 78, pp. 132-134.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Related Objects