This lovely drawing of the famous lovers Sawant Singh and Bani Thani exemplifies the elegant Kishangarh manner with its elongated figures, sway-backed stances (particularly here of the Raja) and sharp-profile faces with elongated crescent-form eyes - idealized in Kishangarh as the love of Krishna for Radha. Kishangarh was an important center of Vaishnavite worship and the idealization of the theme of Radha and Krishna was a constantly reoccurring subject in painting there.
The artist Nihal Chand (1710-1782) was perhaps the most influential court artist of Maharaja Sawant Singh (1699-1764) of Kishangarh and is credited with establishing the characteristics most famously associated with paintings from Kishangarh i.e. the curving elongated eye, sharply angular face, combined with slender sway-backed figures - as visible in the present drawing. Our drawing was executed by a very fine and confident hand from the workshop of Nihal Chand and is almost certainly attributable to the brush of the master himself.
For a drawing almost surely by the same hand and attributed by Stuart Cary Welch to Nihal Chand see S. C. Welch, Indian Drawings and Painted Sketches, New York, 1976, pp. 120-121, cat.68.
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