Lot 14
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Early 19th Century

Jaipur School

Size: 9 x 5.5 in (22.9 x 14 cm)

This colourful painting of the Ragamala series, showing wrestlers or athletes, is based on the Desakh Ragini of Jaipur School.

Desakh is the only raga that is signified by physical strength and prowess, and hence an athletic iconography. The painting shows five muscular men, bare-bodied except for tight, short, red dhotis, within a wrestling arena or gymnasium, doing vigorous physical exercises. The men have shaved heads, except for a tuft of hair. The one in the centre is clinging upside down on a tall tapering column called 'malla-stambha' (malla means gymnast and stambha is a pillar). To the left is one who is exercising with two wooden short barrels, one in each hand, and the one to the right is stretching a bow. Two of them are wrestling with one another, each trying desperately to get a good hold on the other to topple. In gymnastics, it is known that the athlete who performs the most difficult feat with ease, comes out as the winner.

All of them seem to be at ease in whatever they are doing. Their clothes have been neatly rolled and kept on two sides. There is a touch of gold paint on their clothes and bodies adding glitter. The background is deep cream against which the figures stand out well. Beyond this is the blue sky with tufts of white clouds. The finer details of this painting are interesting. The shaven heads have already developed stubble in the form of a shade. The facial modeling is also well done. The inscription on top describes the subject.

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  Lot 14 of 55  

25-26 APRIL 2012

$1,500 - 1,900

Winning Bid
(Inclusive of Buyer's Premium)

Published dimensions of this Lot are those of the full paper size and not the visible size of this Lot


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