This lavishly illustrated book, the second volume in the series Orchha, Datia, Panna: Miniatures from the Royal Courts of Bundelkhand (1590–1850), deals with the second and third periods of Orchha painting, which span the years 1605 through 1675. A central theme of the paintings presented in this volume is the love between the archetypal couple Krishna and Radha, which is both mystical-religious and secular-playful in nature. Indeed, it is the confluence of sacred and profane love that gives India’s culture and art its unique spirit.
The images were created to illustrate poetic works such as the Rasikapriya, whose author, the Orchha court poet Keshavdas, invites his readers to savor the aesthetic and religious delight of Radha-Krishna love through his riti lyrics in the vernacular language of his era. Through stylistic analyses and interpretations of over 100 paintings from his collection, many of them published here for the first time, the author brings to light the accomplishments of the Orchha school during its heyday in the seventeenth century.