Though highly dramatized and hence difficult to link, the episode represented in the painting is what is termed as realising toll from gopis by Krishna and his mates. As the tradition has it, for better price gopis of Brij used to export their products, butter in particular, to Kansa’s court at Mathura and thus helped evil to grow stronger. Krishna and his mates decided to take from them their share of butter. They hence posted themselves midway and forced gopis to give them their share before they were allowed to go farther. Here the two horse-riding figures with their characteristic body colours and costume-forms are Krishna and Balarama and the lady with pots of butter in her basket symbolically represents the gopis of Brija.
For better price gopis of Brij used to export their products, butter in particular, to Kansa’s court at Mathura and thus helped evil to grow stronger. Krishna and his mates decided to take from them their share of butter. They hence posted themselves midway and forced gopis to give them their share before they were allowed to go farther.
The painting represents king Dasharatha of Ayodhya and his three consorts, Kausalya, Sumitra and Kekeyi, each with one of their four sons, Rama, Bharata, Lakshmana and Shatrughna. Such is the contentment of king Dasharatha and his queens that forgetting their regalia they sprawl on bare floor like common lots
This miniature with strong folk character represents Lord Vishnu reclining on the coils of the seven-hooded great serpent Shesha and his consort Lakshmi massaging his feet. As the legendary tradition has it, the four-faced Brahma is seated on the lotus emerging from Vishnu’s navel. Towards Vishnu’s legs has been represented sage Narada with four arms instead of his usual two. Behind the serpent Shesha stands Vishnu’s vahana, the great bird Garuda. Gentle tones of the colours used impart to the painting exceptional beauty.
While jumping across the ocean in the course of his search for Sita Hanuman encounters a number of she-demons, Ravana’s sea-guards around Lanka. One of them, Surasa, challenges Hanuman and to devour him expands her mouth. Hanuman doubles the size of his body. Surasa further expands her mouth and Hanuman again doubles his body size. This continues for long. Suddenly Hanuman reduces himself to almost an invisible size, enters Surasa’s mouth, passes through her womb and re-emerges. Now re-born of her he claims to be her son deserving her protection.
An unusual theme – a king paddling a boat with his queens, or any of the royal damsels, with pots on heads or in hands on board, seems to be the part of some festival or ritual tradition which mandated the monarch to himself sail his boat. Maybe, the occasion required them to visit some temple and bath the enshrining deity with the water queens carried in their pots. A long bird-like shaped boat, a tree extending all over its length, lake covered with lotuses, and judiciously used line-work impart to the painting its great aesthetic charm.
More elaborately rendered, the painting portrays Rai Pithora riding a chariot ahead of equestrian female attendants carrying in their hands bowl, parrots, flag, hookah etc. The entire painting is divided into five registers which accommodate besides the sun and moon type conventional motifs several animal forms, hut, activities like sowing seeds, carrying palanquin, churning curd, drawing water from the well, and modern motifs like a clock.
An episode from the Ramayana, Rama is shooting his deadly arrow to kill Bali, Kishkindha’s monkey king, for usurping his younger brother Sugriva’s state and wife. Under a boon half of the might of anyone facing Bali would pass into him. Hence Rama keeps himself behind a tree and Sugriva is put to face him. On the lower register Sugriva and Bali are engaged in fighting while on the upper right corner Rama is fixing his target.
With a double border, the outer one comprising multi-coloured temple motifs, and other, successive multi-coloured angle-marks, the painting celebrates the deity Pithora riding a black horse. Apart the usual pedestrians and equestrian figures piloting the procession, and drummer and dancers walking along, the composition comprises a number of other motifs and a mountain range with the sun above as the background.