280
280

PROPERTY FROM THE LANIER COLLECTION

CHANDABIBI AS A FOUR-ARMED GODDESS
ATTRIBUTED TO RAI VENKATCHELLAM
Estimate
8,00012,000
LOT SOLD. 18,750 USD
JUMP TO LOT
280

PROPERTY FROM THE LANIER COLLECTION

CHANDABIBI AS A FOUR-ARMED GODDESS
ATTRIBUTED TO RAI VENKATCHELLAM
Estimate
8,00012,000
LOT SOLD. 18,750 USD
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

CHANDABIBI AS A FOUR-ARMED GODDESS
ATTRIBUTED TO RAI VENKATCHELLAM
Opaque watercolor heightened with gold on paper
image: 11 3/4 by 8 1/4 in. (27.9 by 20.3 cm)
India, Deccan, Hyderabad, circa 1790
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Provenance

Acquired 1994

Catalogue Note

Beneath a lavish gold and jeweled arched dome the famous Deccani courtesan and poetess Chandabibi (called Malaqabai) sits cross-legged - enthroned on a lotus on a floral carpet idealized as a four-armed goddess.  She wears a tall gold crown.  Accompanied by a lord depicted as saffron-clad brahmin priest and a handmaiden waving a chowrie set against a brilliant emerald green ground rising to a blue sky.

Malaqabai Chanda's face is unmistakable - we easily recognize her from portraits like the Twentieth Century example in the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad.  She was a poetess who composed verse in Persian and Urdu and was the first female sahib-i-diwan - a collected poet.  She is being revered in our painting - metaphorically as a goddess - for her intellect, talent and accomplishments.

Rai Venkatchellam, the most acclaimed painting master from the court of Nizam Ali Khan (1734-1803) of Hyderabad, had also painted Chandabibi (in human form) riding a palanquin, in a depiction of a hunting expedition of Nizam II.  Other paintings by Rai Venkatchellam are in the San Diego Museum of Art (accession nos. 1990.560 and 1990.559 "Mahlaqa Bhai with a Lover"), the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the David Collection (inv. no. 14/2015) which depicts an arched domed and columned structure very much like the magnificent overarching canopy in our present painting.

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

|
New York