Mar 19, 2014

Augury of the Crow (Vasakasajja Nayika)

Augury of the Crow (Vasakasajja Nayika)

c. 1800

Gum tempera and gold on paper

Overall: 21.4 x 14.5 cm (8 7/16 x 5 11/16 in.)

Bequest of Mrs. Severance A. Millikin 1989.337



The heroine in the doorway is waiting for her husband to return, but he is delayed, and ominous monsoon clouds gather in the distance. The pomegranate tree in her garden has ripe fruits replete with seeds and bright red juices, suggestive of her fertility, but a crow is perched there. The sound of a crow’s voice is an unlucky omen, and this further compounds her anxiety.

Depictions of tense, relatable situations were made to elicit empathy in the viewer and emotions that heightened the pleasure of viewing and savoring paintings.

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