279
279

PROPERTY FROM THE LANIER COLLECTION

AN IRREPRESSIBLE MAIDEN
Estimate
12,00018,000
JUMP TO LOT
279

PROPERTY FROM THE LANIER COLLECTION

AN IRREPRESSIBLE MAIDEN
Estimate
12,00018,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Works of Art Including Property from The Cleveland Museum of Art

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New York

AN IRREPRESSIBLE MAIDEN
Opaque watercolor heightened with gold on paper
image: 7¼ by 5¼ in. (17.7 by 12.7 cm)
folio: 13 by 9½ in. (33 by 22.8 cm)
India, Deccan, Golconda, circa 1720-30
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Provenance

Sir Howard Hodgkin
Sam Fogg Ltd., London
Acquired 1999 

Catalogue Note

In this delightfully elegant painting, a young maiden is seen in the heat of an outdoor summer day, wearing a diaphanous muslin upper garment and transparent shawl.  She grasps the slender trunk of a leafy mango tree - the long black hair falling down her back visible behind her. One foot languidly slides out of her slipper.  Her closed hennaed palm is raised in a youthful mudra of objection, as her stern governess gestures, reminding her that it's past time to return home to perform her rituals.  Against a brilliant warm yellow background with swirling gray-blue clouds above as flowers blossom beneath her feet.  With blue-green inner and wide red outer borders with black ruled lines.

This extremely sensitive and refined painting shows the confluence of both Deccani and Rajasthani (particularly Bundi/Kotah) traditions.  Its glowing color, sensuality and lively movement seem Deccani.  Costume details like the maiden's veil and long patka, delicate jeweled ornaments and her fine facial features all seem to suggest a Golconda origin.  The maiden's yearning touch of a slender tree trunk is a repeated motif in Deccani works and we may find a comparably insouciant attitude in the "Courtesan" - see Zebrowski, Deccani Painting, London, 1983, fig.179 for a Golconda painting from the latter Seventeenth Century whose mysterious Mona Lisa-like smile reminds us greatly of our young maiden. 

Our imploring gray-haired duenna has her counterpart in several known paintings from Kotah and Bundi in Rajasthan during the early Nineteenth Century.  We find very close comparables in paintings from Kotah.  These works - although not nearly as fine, crisply painted or expressive as our own - depict very similar governess figures with nearly identical hand gestures, costume and frustrated facial expressions.  Our charming maiden seems to have originated as a Deccani motif which found favor in Rajasthan - perhaps brought there by relocating Deccani artists able to recapture the lighthearted charm found in the earlier Golconda artworks.

Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Works of Art Including Property from The Cleveland Museum of Art

|
New York