The project on the Pahari works of the Museum Volkenkunde is going well. I am currently mounting the 134 paintings and drawings using methods tailored to the requirements of each folio.This beautiful painting of Virahini Nayika (longing heroine) braving the storm was executed on a thick board, called vasli, made of a lamination of sheets pasted on top of the other. In addition, a dust-cover was adhered along the upper edge, to protect the work from wear and light.
On the verso of the dust-cover is written the following verses from the Bihari’s Ratnakara:
” Oh Beloved, the fire of separation is unique,
it is inexhaustible. It increases if there is a shower
of rain; its fierce flames are not extinguished even
when there is a heavy downpour.”
They describe the emotion of such a lady abandoned by a loved one. The spring rain, accompanied by a storm, is falling on earth with full force. They bend and crush the flowering shrubs. The heroine, overcome by this pouring rain, tries to cover her head and maintain her balance as she rushes to a shelter.
Because the thick support is supplied with a foldable dust-cover, I have opted for a flexible mounting methods using photo-corners made with thick Japanese paper. The photo-corners were painted in red, using Golden acrylic paints, to match the colour of the borders. The corners are foldable and allow the painting to be released easily.
The photo-corners were then adhered to a back board and the painting will be mounted in a passe-partout.
For your viewing pleasure, more close-ups of the painting: The gold paint was needle-punched to reflect the light and the jewels were made with droplets of white paint to give relief to the composition. The hands are dyed with henna.
The handwritten verses on the dust-cover (for those who can read Takri and Dogri!):
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