Attributed to Sahib Ram (active reign of Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, 1778–1803)
India (Rajasthan, Jaipur)
Ink on paper
26 x 18 1/4 in. (66 x 46.4 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1918
Not on view
This large drawing of two musicians is likely a preparatory study for a mural in the Jaipur palace that showed the raslila, a mythic episode from the life of Krishna where he replicates himself so that he can dance with his beloved Radha and all the gopis (female cowherds). The story is related to the concept of bhakti, or devotional love for the divine form of Krishna, in which all can participate. Sahib Ram’s patron, Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, is said to have performed the raslila dressed as Krishna, with his wives and courtesans playing the cowherds.
[ Ananda K. Coomaraswamy , Boston, until 1927; sold to MMA]