Lot 20
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Inscribed in Nagari at the top and stamped 'Khajanchi Kala Bhawan Bikaner (Rajasthan)' on the reverse
Gouache on paper heightened with gold
Image: 9 x 6.25 in (22.9 x 15.9 cm)
Folio: 10.5 x 7.5 in (27.2 x 19.5 cm)


The Motichand Khajanchi Collection

Lots 1921 in this collection depict Maharana Sangram Singh of Udaipur (r. 1710 - 1734) engaged in various activities. The Maharana was known to have been a shrewd and competent ruler with virtues of rectitude, generosity and strict adherence to Rajput social behaviour. He is credited with additions to the Jagmandir, as well as the Chini Mahal inside the City Palace, where blue and white tiles imported by the Dutch from China were added to a courtyard. In 1711, he entertained a Dutch entourage, led by J J Ketelaar which led to a number of unusual portraits of firangi, or foreign, visitors. His atelier was characterised by the reinvigoration of the painting tradition. Artists broke away from illustrating manuscripts to portraying scenes from the court and the Maharana's personal life. "Sangram Singh's evident intention, as patron, was to build up a comprehensive documentary record of state occasions, seasonal festivals as well as the daily pastimes of the Rana in his ancestral domains." (Andrew Topsfield, Court Painting at Udaipur: Art Under the Patronage of the Maharanas of Mewar, Zurich: Artibus Asiae Publishers, 2001, p. 158)

This painting depicts Maharana Sangram Singh with a yogi. The yogi, seated on a tiger skin, is depicted with a nimbus larger than that of the ruler, which indicates his higher status. His right hand is in the gyan mudra denoting that he is imparting knowledge to the young ruler, while his left hand holds a rosary. A crescent moon hovers near the yogi giving him an almost Shiva-like appearance.

The ruler is shown lower on the hierarchy, hands in supplication, seated on a plain, white floor-cloth, which echoes the gravity of the occasion. Although dressed in regal finery, the Maharana does not have an entourage, and only one person attends upon him. To highlight this hierarchy, the bolster, a symbol of sovereignty, has been provided to the yogi and not to the ruler.

The background is left bare, and two flat colours are used to convey the gravitas of the scene, in which it is the three figures who are of importance. Even the formal garden composition has been dispensed of, in order to create a dialogue between temporal and spiritual power.

For a detailed discussion on Maharana Sangram Singh II, including hunting scenes and meeting with ascetics, refer to Andrew Topsfield, "Sangram Singh II and the Great Tamasha (1710 - 34)," Court Painting at Udaipur: Art under the Patronage of the Maharanas of Mewar, Zurich: Artibus Asiae Publishers, 2001, pp. 141 - 172.

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  Lot 20 of 81  

9 MARCH 2017

Rs 6,00,000 - 8,00,000
$9,095 - 12,125



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