Damayanti is the daughter of Bhima, the king of Vidarbha. The legend of Damayanti is found in the Mahabharata, Vana-Parva, Chapters 52 to 79. At the same time, Nala was a prince born to Virasena, the king of Nishadha. The swans which came to the palace of Damayanti extolled praises for Nala and also told Nala of Damayanti’s extraordinary beauty. The messages of love being were being carried to and fro by the swans; Nala and Damayanti fell in love with each other. After the marriage of Nala and Damayanti, several events lead to their being exiled from the kingdom by Nala’s elder brother. They were compelled to lead their lives in a forest. Nala, thereafter abandoned Damayanti in the forest when she, in a helpless state was consumed by the snake. In this painting, Raja Ravi Varma depicts the scene of impending danger with the snake in the foreground.