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Exhibitions/ Art Object

Equestrian Portrait of a Noble

Attributed to Bakhta
ca. 1775
India (Rajasthan, Devgarh)
Ink and opaque watercolor on paper.
8 11/16 x 12 in. (22 x 30.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Florence and Herbert Irving Gift and Rogers Fund, 1997
Accession Number:
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.
[ Art of the Past, Inc. , New York, by 1997, sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paintings from Mewar," 1998.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings from the Courts of North India: Sixteenth to Nineteenth Century," 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Pursuits at the Hindu Courts," 2002–2003.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painting at Mewar," May 17, 2004–October 5, 2004.

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