This remarkable and vigorous ink drawing is attributed to the Kotah artist Sheikh Taju active during the reign of Maharao Durjan Sal (r.1723-56) and it contains many of the artist's characteristic mannerisms: thick bold line juxtaposed with highly detailed and delicate ink passages, penetrating psychological insight toward his subjects (particularly here in the depiction of the ladies and the men smoking), complex compositions of views around the hillsides of Kotah and the numerous visible pentimenti, or corrected sections, often overpainted in white bodycolor which seem to become abstracted flourishes in their own right within the overall composition.
Another Kotah drawing attributed to Sheikh Taju the "Fort of Gagraun" previously in the Stuart Cary Welch Collection and now at the Fogg Museum at Harvard University (accession no. 2009.202.240) depicts the fort's battlements and accompanying figures set within a hilly landscape about 45 miles from Kotah. An elephant fight - another specialty of Sheikh Taju - is viewable at the upper right corner there. The "Fort of Gagraun" is a large drawing fragment, irregular in shape and executed on a type of rough natural/buff paper similar to our own study and is almost certainly from the same hand.
For relatable works see S. C. Welch and K. Masteller, From Mind, Heart and Hand: Persian Turkish and Indian drawings from the Stuart Cary Welch Collection, Harvard, 2004 cat. 48, 49 and 52. Also see S. C. Welch, Gods Kings and Tigers: the Art of Kotah, New York, 1997, for a discussion of Kotah paintings and drawings by Sheikh Taju, his older collaborator the Kotah Master, and the patronage of Maharao Durjan Sal.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale