Three warriors march forward, taking up nearly the entire frame. Blue soldiers carring weapons and shields bring up the front and rear. They appear to move through a stylized tree landscape.
This striking image of warriors striding along a path with shields and weapons held at ready is a fine example of narrative paintings produced by and for the Paithan tribal group in the northern Deccan. One of the most striking genres of traditional Indian art is that of large-scale narrative painting used by professional, itinerant storytellers. Often the stories are local variants of the ancient epic, the Mahabharata, updated with humorous comments on current events or village life.
Originally another scene was pasted to the back of this work. The storyteller or his assistant would hold one scene high overhead to show his audience, and then flip it over to progress to the next development in the tale. The bold shapes and attractive, if simplified, color scheme would make the painting legible—and memorable—to even the most distant members of his audience.
Large image painted with bold blues, reds, greens and yellows. Illustrates seven figures; three on the left half and four on the right. Several of the figures are pinching some sort of food substance. The figures that are closest to the right and left edges of the image also are holding weapons.
Part of an illustrated series of scenes from the Mahâbhârata, one of the great epc tales of South Asia. Paintings of this type as known as 'Paithan' paintings, after the town where they were discovered in the twentieth century. Such works are large in scale and exceptionally bold in style. The pages would have been held aloft for an audience to view while a narrator would recite the Mahâbhârata in song and verse.
A small fragment of a larger cloth, of unknown function. The base is a plain-weave cotton, now a faded red, and the woven brocade design is of densely-packed, alternating rows of 'boteh' (paisley) patterns.