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  • Place of origin:

    Bikaner (probably, made)
    Jodhpur (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1740 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This small painting is typical of work done in the eighteenth century in the Rajasthani courts of Bikaner and neighbouring Jodhpur. Paintings showing ladies indulging in pastimes like flying a kite, playing with a yoyo or combing their hair were intended as gifts to the ruler on auspicious occasions like Diwali, Holi or his birthday. This lady is painted in the distinctive western Rajasthani style of the period, with her large, curving eye, small pursed lips and shaded cheeks. This style of painting evolved in Jodhpur, but was also used in Bikaneri painting as artists moved freely between the two courts. The dark plum-coloured background is used in some other paintings that have inscriptions by Bikaner artists on the reverse, so we can conclude that this one was probably also painted in Bikaner.

Physical description

A small rectangular painting in opaque watercolour on paper showing a lady against a plum-coloured background, with a cloudy sky above. In the top left-hand corner of the painting is the kite she is flying.

Place of Origin

Bikaner (probably, made)
Jodhpur (possibly, made)


ca. 1740 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour on paper


Height: 16.8 cm, Width: 10 cm

Object history note

Purchased from Maggs Brothers in a group (IS 552 to 558-1952)

Descriptive line

Painting, lady flying kite, painted on paper, Bikaner or Jodhpur, ca. 1740

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

W.G.Archer, Indian Miniatures, London, 1960, plate 56.
Exhibition catalogue: The Indian Heritage, Court Life and Arts under Mughal Rule, London, 1982, cat.no.148 (not illustrated).
Plate 118, page 145
Jackson, Anna and Jaffer, Amin (eds), with Deepika Ahlawat. Maharaja : the splendour of India's royal courts. London, V&A Publishing, 2009. ISBN.9781851775736 (hbk.), ISBN.1851775730 (hbk.).
pps.88 and 89
Jackson, Anna and Ji Wei (eds.) with Rosemary Crill, Ainsley M. Cameron and Nicholas Barnard, compiled by the Palace Museum, translated by Yuan Hong, Qi Yue and Liu Ran. The Splendour of India' Royal Courts : Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Beijing: the Forbidden City Publishing House, 2013. Text in English and Chinese. ISBN 9787513403917.


Paint; Paper; Opaque watercolour; Water-colour



Subjects depicted

Woman; Kite


Paintings; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

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