Introducing Take 5 by Apal Gautam. Explore Gautam's five highlights from the

upcoming Wednesday 14 June Arts Of India auction.


Apal Gautam is the founder of the Instagram account @ancientindianart. She shares and explores subjects pertaining to ancient and medieval Indian art history. Presently, she is pursuing a PhD in history, further augmenting her profound comprehension of art history. "I love studying art objects and I try to give my own interpretation to these fascinating antiquities corroborating them with historical context".




My first choice is lot 45. The painting depicts a woman receiving an ascetic who is clad in a saffron robe and strings of beads. This late 18th century painting has a stark resonance with the present because in India we still have sadhus coming over for alms, not dressed up in similar attire but quite in essence.


My second one is lot 102. In this beautiful painting from 19th century, Oudh retains some Mughal finesse. The whole night set up with a full moon in the sky, a beautifully decorated bed, a fountain in the foreground, all indicate the love making which is about to unfold as the older woman takes a shy maiden towards the prince. The prince on the other hand is shown seated on a carpet, waiting for his woman as he extends his hand towards her.

My third choice is lot 51. This painting of a woman standing cloaked in white evokes a certain mysticism. The halo around her head and flywhisk in her hand indicate she could be a yogini or a woman who is highly revered for her spiritual gifts. The artist chose to keep the attention on the figure with a simple green background.


My fourth choice is lot 109. A princess is shown seated on a chair, holding a twig of flowers as she listens to music played by two women in front of her, one holds a vina while another sings to the tune of it. Two attendants behind her also seem to enjoy the music as the river in the background flows calmly. The whole painting evokes an aura of serenity as women enjoy their leisure time with music.


My last pick is Lot 184. The large oval shaped bone and wood inlaid plaques depict Krishna in two different settings. The upper one shows Krishna with Radha in a natural landscape with trees and birds around them. The full moon in the sky illuminates the entire setting. The lower plaque shows Krishna in a battle scene of Mahabharata where he is engaging with Arjuna, lecturing him about important life lessons. The meticulous details rendered in the plaques by the artist is simply brilliant.