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A Couple by Candlelight (Dipaka Raga)
Page from a dispersed ragamala series

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Rajasthan, India, Asia
Probably made in Malpura, Rajasthan, India, Asia

c. 1756

Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver-colored paint on paper

Image: 10 3/4 × 6 15/16 inches (27.3 × 17.6 cm) Sheet: 12 11/16 × 8 3/4 inches (32.2 × 22.2 cm) Mount: 15 1/2 × 11 5/8 inches (39.4 × 29.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994

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Dipaka means light or flame. It evokes the beauty of light, particularly at night, and its effect on the meeting of lovers. In musical form, the raga is played at night. In visual form, affectionate lovers are shown near a bright candle in the late evening. The verses at the top of the page may be translated as:

Full of light, the city's form is charming in the night.
The beloved brings a glowing lamp to the tryst, so that the lovemaking may be enchanted with amorous play.
The myriad gold ornaments soothe the spirit.
Thus the poet, Govinda, assigns Dipaka the foremost position among the ragas.