A cliff-top village presents a moment from the daily life of hill-dwelling villagers in the 19th century, poetically illustrating the inaccessibility of isolated towns in the lush Himalayan hills region of north India. A figure dressed in green and seated in a basket is being lowered to the mountain’s base. Three men await his arrival, gesturing towards the basket.
A village crowns the plateau, with white walls and towers protecting its perimeter. Residents are going about their day, ploughmen walk cattle while farmers till the ground and cows graze. The vast cliff face dominates the unusual composition, and the magnificence of the natural world overwhelms the tiny figure in the basket. The secular subject matter of this picture is unusual. Most paintings from the region relate to religious texts.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label