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Not currently on display at the V&A

Painting

ca. 1751 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Painting, gouache or opaque watercolour and gold on paper, a tiny figure in a white turban and orange-brown jama (tied to the right in Muslim fashion) sits smoking a hookah at the window of a palace. He gazes to the right where two figures attend to him. Three figures are at a window on the right and four more are on the left. Below, in the courtyard are two groups of servants, their jamas tied to the left Hindu-style. Some of courtiers and servants are letting off fireworks, one holding an up-turned bowl, another a bird-cage, and three holding hawks.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Painted in gouache or opaque watercolour and gold on paper
Brief Description
Painting, firework display, by Nainsukh, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Jammu, ca. 1751
Physical Description
Painting, gouache or opaque watercolour and gold on paper, a tiny figure in a white turban and orange-brown jama (tied to the right in Muslim fashion) sits smoking a hookah at the window of a palace. He gazes to the right where two figures attend to him. Three figures are at a window on the right and four more are on the left. Below, in the courtyard are two groups of servants, their jamas tied to the left Hindu-style. Some of courtiers and servants are letting off fireworks, one holding an up-turned bowl, another a bird-cage, and three holding hawks.
Dimensions
  • Page onto which object attached; also absolute maximum dimension of object height: 247mm
  • Page onto which object attached; also absolute maximum dimension of object width: 161mm
  • Image within innermost painted borders height: 241mm
  • Image within innermost painted borders width: 155mm
19/06/2013 dimensions measured as part of Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project 2013
Content description
A tiny figure in a white turban and orange-brown jama (tied to the right in Muslim fashion) sits smoking a hookah at the window of a palace. He gazes to the right where two figures attend to him. Three figures are at a window on the right and four more are on the left. Below, in the courtyard are two groups of servants, their jamas tied to the left Hindu-style. Some of courtiers and servants are letting off fireworks, one holding an up-turned bowl, another a bird-cage, and three holding hawks.
Styles
Object history
It is possible that the central figure could be Mir Mannu, a Basohli ruler, or even Balwant Singh, a major patron of the artist Nainsukh, himself. The other possibility is that the tiny figure in the palace on the extreme left may be Balwant Singh with the presiding figure as a Mughal prince or Hill ruler privileged to tie his jama to the right, in Muslim fashion.



The V&A purchased the painting in 1912 from Dr A.K. Coomaraswamy, a renowned historian of Indian art.
Subjects depicted
Bibliographic References
  • Guy, J., and Swallow, D., (eds). ‘Arts of India: 1550-1900’. London : Victoria and Albert Museum, 1990. ISBN 1851770224. , p.148/149, pl.128.
  • Indian paintings from the Punjab Hills : a survey and history of Pahari miniature painting / by W. G. Archer ; foreword by Sherman E. Lee. London :Delhi: Sotheby Parke Bernet ;Oxford University Press, 1973 Number: 0856670022p. 203, cat. no. 43.
  • Swallow, D., Stronge, S., Crill, R., Koezuka, T., editor and translator, "The Art of the Indian Courts. Miniature Painting and Decorative Arts", Victoria & Albert Museum and NHK Kinki Media Plan, 1993.p. 128, cat. no. 112
Collection
Accession Number
IM.5-1912

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record createdJanuary 8, 2003
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