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Kalpasutra manuscript, leaf: The Courtesan Kosha and the King's Charioteer (fol. no. 102v)

Accession Number
1997/2.39

Title
Kalpasutra manuscript, leaf: The Courtesan Kosha and the King's Charioteer (fol. no. 102v)

Artist(s)
Indian

Artist Nationality
Indian (South Asian)

Object Creation Date
early 15th century

Medium & Support
ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

Dimensions
4 1/4 in x 10 1/4 in (10.8 cm x 26.1 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Professor Walter M. and Nesta R. Spink

Label copy
Towards the end of the Kalpasutra text there is a story of the courtesan Kosha who was noted for her precise dancing. Here she flirts with the king’s charioteer by dancing while he impresses her with his archery. Later Kosha would renounce the world to become a Jaina nun.
The horizontal format of the Kalpasutra manuscript pages painted in western India in the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries follows the precedent of earlier manuscripts done on palm leaves; where the paper manuscripts show red dots, the palm leaf manuscripts would have had holes to allow them to string pages together.
The Kalpasutra was read aloud during the rainy season when the monks could not wander the countryside seeking alms and had to stay indoors.
Exhibited in "Divine Encounters, Earthly Pleasures: Twenty Centuries of Indian Art," 12/12/03-2/22/04.
---
This painting depicts a story from near the end of the Kalpasutra text about the courtesan Kosha, who was noted for her precise dancing. In this image, she flirts with the king’s charioteer by dancing while he attempts to impress her with his archery. Later in this story, Kosha renounces such wordly pleasures to become a Jaina nun. The Kalpasutra was read aloud during the rainy season, when the monks could not wander the countryside seeking alms and had to stay indoors.
The horizontal format of the paper Kalpasutra manuscript pages painted in western India in the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries follows the precedent of earlier manuscripts on palm leaves: where paper manuscripts such as this one show red dots, the palm leaf manuscripts would have had actual holes allowing the palm leaf pages to be strung together.
(6/28/10)
(South and Southeast Asia Gallery Rotation, Spring 2010)

Subject matter
Towards the end of the Kalpasutra text there is a story of the courtesan Kosha who was noted for her precise dancing. Here she flirts with the king’s charioteer by dancing while he impresses her with his archery. Later Kosha would renounce the world to become a Jaina nun.

Physical Description
Alongside a block of calligraphic text a red rectable sets off an illustrative space. In the bottom right corner of the illustration a woman dances, and on the left a larger figure pulls an arrow taught in a bow.

Primary Object Classification
Bound Work

Primary Object Type
book

Additional Object Classification(s)
Painting

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
arrows
bows (weapons)
calligraphy (process)
dancers
manuscripts (document genre)

3 Related Resources

Art of the Mughal Empire
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Introduction to Manuscripts and Early Print
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Su19 Dine: HISTART 393 - Visit 3
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted