Maharaja of Kotah Listening to Music and Watching Dancers

Maharaja of Kotah Listening to Music and Watching Dancers

c. 1820

Opaque watercolors and ink on paper

Image: 33.3 x 25.3 cm (13 1/8 x 9 15/16 in.); Paper: 35.4 x 27.2 cm (13 15/16 x 10 11/16 in.)

Gift of Norman Zaworski 2008.297

Description

In the foreground the king enjoys food, wine, and a dance performance with his companions on the terrace of a palace residence. His hunting lodge is on the opposite bank of the river. Deer, wild boar, and the coveted tiger roam the forested wilderness.

Rulers of the princely state of Kota adopted many architectural and costume elements from their overlords, the Mughal emperors. The mix of white marble and pink sandstone with rooftop pavilions and niches in the walls are typical of domestic architecture under the Mughals of India. By the early 19th century, Indian artists adopted from European paintings an interest in conveying a sense of receding space. This painter has convincingly rendered the space of the room behind the king, punctured with a door to an inner bedchamber.

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