Pleasures of the Hunt
North India, Punjab Hills, Kangra
Ink, opaque watercolor, gold and silver on paper
Image: 9 7/8 x 14 1/8 in. (25.1 x 35.8 cm)
Framed: 16 5/16 x 21 3/8 in. (41.4 x 54.3 cm)
Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky Fund, 2002
This hunt takes place in a tented enclosure, or qamargha. A prince and princess on horseback, each holding a hunting hawk, observe deer being shot by a princess in the distance. This same huntress reappears twice in the foreground, outside the red cloth enclosure: at left, shooting at a deer, and at right, making love with a courtier who demonstrates his prowess by simultaneously aiming an arrow at an approaching tiger. The horses belonging to the amorous couple wait patiently nearby; one has his face covered to prevent him being startled, a device that is likely also a witty allusion to the lovers’ brazen display. The Kangra court style is distinguished by its refined use of softly modulated pastel colors and handsome figure types.
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