Lot 21
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Gouache on paper heightened with gold
Image: 12.25 x 7.5 in (31.4 x 19.3 cm)
Folio: 14.25 x 9.5 in (36.6 x 24.7 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)

Maharana Sangram Singh of Udaipur was an astute ruler and a keen patron of the arts. Interactions with foreign visitors led to an interest in experimentation among the artists of his court that led to paintings that went beyond the traditional religious subjects or illustrations to manuscripts. The Mewar school, through the 18th and into the 19th century, was characterised by portraits of rulers and depictions of their life at both, leisure and war. Writing of Sangram Singh, Parimoo states, "Topsfield has built up his [Sangram Singh's] personality and love of pomp and show through the kind of subjects he liked to be painted in which he was the principal character." (Ratan Parimoo, NC Mehta Collection Volume II, Rajasthani, Central Indian, Pahari and Mughal Paintings, Ahmedabad: Gujarat Museum Society, 2013, p. 32)

The present lot is a poetic rendering of the Maharana with his queen and her ladies, interacting with deer and blackbucks. Raga Todi is invoked, as the animals respond to the music played by the two female musicians with their veena and sarangi, which form the iconography for this ragamala. The Maharana carries his bow as a symbol of his status, but does not point an arrow, as it is not a hunt. The scenery with a lotus pond in the foreground and an undulating verdant landscape adds to the sense of tranquillity and peace with nature. Traditionally styled homes are far off in the distance, away from the animals, music, water, flowers and landscape that are fitting for a colourful royal outing.

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  Lot 21 of 81  

9 MARCH 2017

Rs 25,00,000 - 30,00,000
$37,880 - 45,455

Winning Bid
Rs 28,80,000
(Inclusive of Buyer's Premium)


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