Vidyapati (c. 1352–1448), called second Jayadeva in his lifetime, is immersed, charged and inspired by the love of Radha and Krishna. He wrote emotionally-intensive love songs in Maithili, for the queens of Shiva Simha, his patron, and the common folk. Though drawn inspiration from Jayadeva, more than him, Vidyapati presents in his poetry a rare, tender and sensitive understanding of Radha’s psyche. In his love songs Radha, not Krishna, is in the centre stage and through his nayika Vidyapati is reaching out to each and every woman in Mithila.
Vidyapati presents his songs from a woman’s heart, and describes his nayika’s slowly awakening youth, her sensuous beauty, her coyish charm, her naïve innocence, her surrender to love and her anguish on being neglected. She is invariably sensual, spiritual, physical and emotional. Though she did not inspire painters of the time, she ruled the hearts of the people of Mithila. Vidyapati’s love songs are written in honeyed words and are sung with mellifluous notes in homes, fields, chowks and havelis, across eastern India. And thus he still rules their heart.
This portfolio, based on the ten love songs of Vidyapati, presents lovely paintings on the varied love moods of Radha, the love queen. In doing so, different artists have displayed their dexterity in Jaipur, Caurapancashika, late Mughal, Manaku, Kishangarh, Jain, Kangra and Basohli styles.