Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Maharaja Bijay Singh in His Harem

ca. 1770
India (Rajasthan, Jodhpur)
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
13 5/8 x 10 5/8 in. (34.6 x 27 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 2002
Accession Number:
Not on view
Maharaja Bijay Singh is shown in the midst of his harem, nestling with one of his wives and listening to a musical performance. Several of the women, intoxicated by the performance, have begun to dance, and two more frolic in the forest beyond the marble terrace.

The painting is beautifully rendered, and the colors are particularly rich-hot reds, oranges, and yellows are offset by cooler lavenders, pinks, and greens. Perhaps the most unusual element is the sumptuous textiles, not only the gorgeous costumes but also, and even more strikingly, the extraordinary rugs. Most distinctive is the large, lavender ground carpet with gold floral arabesques, red and pink leaves, and flowers, inhabited by multicolored parrots. A similar but differently colored carpet appears in another Marwar painting, probably by the same artist, in the collection of the Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge.
Inscription: Inscribed on the reverse in Hindi
Related Objects

Maharana Sarup Singh Inspects a Prize Stallion

Artist: Tara (Indian, active 1836–1870) Date: 1845–46 Medium: Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper Accession: 2001.344 On view in:Not on view

Krishna Revels with the Gopis: Page from a Dispersed Gita Govinda (Song of the Cowherds)

Date: ca. 1630–40 Medium: Opaque watercolor and silver on paper Accession: 2003.165 On view in:Not on view

Equestrian Portrait of a Nobleman

Date: ca. 1710–20 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 2002.411 On view in:Not on view

Picchwai for the Festival of Cows

Date: late 18th century Medium: Painted and printed gold and silver leaf and opaque watercolor on indigo-dyed cotton Accession: 2003.177 On view in:Gallery 243

Navagunjara, a Universal Form of Krishna

Date: ca. 1835 Medium: Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper Accession: 2006.240 On view in:Not on view