Equestrian Portrait of a Noble
Attributed to Bakhta
India (Rajasthan, Devgarh)
Ink and opaque watercolor on paper.
8 11/16 x 12 in. (22 x 30.5 cm)
Purchase, Florence and Herbert Irving Gift and Rogers Fund, 1997
Not on view
Rajput paintings are often jewel-like in their minute details and labored finish. A drawing such as this one shows how swift, expressive, and varied the Rajput artist's line could be, whether in suggesting the bulge of a muscular forearm, the taut belly of a horse, or the wiry bristle of a Rajput mustache. Equestrian portraits were a common, formal, and often stiff means of honoring a nobleman or warrior. This portrait, however, appears to be a caricature of its subject, whose mustache and beard curl back on his face with scratchy pomposity and whose horse seems to bend and whinny under his prodigious weight. Deogarh was a tikhana, or a feudatory state, of Mewar, situated to the north.