Apr 15, 2014

Maharao Chattar Sal (reigned 1758–64) of Kota in a Palanquin

Maharao Chattar Sal (reigned 1758–64) of Kota in a Palanquin

c. 1760

Color and gold on paper

Overall: 28.3 x 39.2 cm (11 1/8 x 15 7/16 in.); with borders: 31.6 x 42.7 cm (12 7/16 x 16 13/16 in.)

Bequest of Mrs. Severance A. Millikin 1989.344

Location

Description

The king sits in his litter with a sun and moon disk behind his head, emphasizing the light of divine sanction for his rule. His power and grandeur seem to inspire his attendants to stride with effortless enthusiasm. Symbols of royalty abound in his retinue: cavaliers on horseback, spear bearers, soldiers with swords and daggers, attendants with peacock-feather fans, and archers carrying bows draped in red and quivers full of arrows.

The small kingdom of Kota achieved independence in 1624, and its rulers, called rao (king) or maharao (great king) in the local dialect of Rajasthani, supported an atelier of artists at their court. Kota artists were known for dynamic and idealized portrayals of their rulers engaged in activities thatemphasized the king’s supreme status.

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