n.d. (19th or 20th century). Two illuminations on thin India paper some vertical creasing, professionally matted and framed. Ad 1 (priapus): 300 x 250 mm (frame size), 198 x 140 mm (visible), 147 x 93 mm (size of illumination). Ad 2 (she-devil): 306 x 231 mm (frame size), 205 x 140 mm (visible), 150 x 83 mm (size of illumination). Sold as a pair. Item #3217
Two weird erotic Indian illuminations, the likes of which we have never before encountered, and are unlikely to encounter again.
Popular in Roman decorative art, the winged priapus is uncommon in Indian iconography. Our illumination is of particularly high quality, and depicts a beautiful Indian woman riding a reined priapus perhas twice her size. The priapus is depicted with avain feet and giant wings. The environment is like a strange dream: in the foreground a grey pool with pink flowers; behind are dark green hills with eerie trees and vegetation. In the sky at sunset are what appear to be rain clouds, touched in white. We have been unable to transcribe the text, but there is writing on the verso.
The second illumination depicts a grotesque she-devil with fangs, horns, and a long tongue, naked save for pearls around her wrists, ankles, and biceps. Above her waist her speckled skin is light purple, and below dark green. The monster clutches to a strange tree on which four priapus grow, and with it engages in sexual relations. She reaches toward a basket of several other priapus which are positioned on an upper branch. As with the accompanying illumination, in the foreground we find a watery pool and pink flowers, and dark green hills studded by surreal trees. The setting is at twilight.
HIGHLY CURIOUS, AND MUST BE SEEN TO BE FULLY APPRECIATED.