Attributed to Chokha (Indian, active 1799–ca. 1826)
India (Rajasthan, Mewar)
Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
Image: 11 1/2 x 14 7/8 in. (29.2 x 37.8 cm) Page: 12 3/16 x 15 15/16 in. (31 x 40.5 cm)
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 2006
Not on view
A nobleman ascends a rope to visit his lover, who reclines within the palace’s defended walls. The clandestine tryst is a theme that runs through the poetry of this period, and certainly the tension of this forbidden act would have appealed to royal tastes. Presenting this scene in the somber tones of night is an innovation of the artist Chokha, who followed his father, Bagta, as the major Mewar painter during this period. Chokha gives the painting a sense of drama by juxtaposing the quietude of the sleeping cows and guards with the brightly colored protagonists and a roiling band of black thunderclouds.
[ Terence McInerney Fine Arts Ltd. , New York, until 2006, sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painting at Mewar," July 10, 2007–November 19, 2007.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions," October 24, 2008–February 1, 2009.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Wonder of the Age: Master Painters of India, 1100–1900," September 26, 2011–January 8, 2012.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Hindu Court Painting," July 17, 2013–September 8, 2013.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Poetry and Devotion in Indian Painting: A Curatorial Legacy," June 15, 2016–December 4, 2016.