A refined and extremely lyrical fragment attributed to the artist Nikka (1745-1833), the third son of the artist Nainsukh - active during the reign of Raja Raj Singh of Chamba.
The painting's softly naturalistic manner can be associated with works from Guler. The family of Nainsukh originated there and later dispersed to other Hill courts like Chamba, seeking patronage. The wide yellow border at the left side is very unusual in Pahari painting and suggests an originally large format. The green saddlery and mauve chariot post the only indications of the original subject - leaving our imagination free to fill in the missing section of this poetic fragment.
Another fragment depicting Shiva, with very similar color palette and yellow border, is in the Cleveland Museum of Art (accession no. 60.48) previously in the Heeramaneck Collection and is very similar to ours, see L. Y. Leach, Indian Miniature Paintings and Drawings, Part I, Cleveland, 1986, fig. 120 & pl. XXIII. A painting in the British Museum (accession no. 1955,1008.0.70) attributed to Nikka and another work depicting an episode from the Rukmini Harana (accession no. 1915.0217.0.6), are possibly from the same manuscript as ours, with very similar color palette and landscape.
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