A large painting on cloth depicting a palace scene beside lake Kishangarh, India, Kishangarh, circa 1775-1800
What is guaranteed?
polychrome pigments on cloth
166.2 by 92.8cm. max.
Supported on a cloth backing, losses to borders with associated consolidation and retouching, areas of loss and rubbing to pigment with some areas of retouching particularly to areas of sky, as viewed
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NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
This wonderful monumental painting on cloth offers a fascinating insight into the comings and goings of courtly life. Here we see Krishna with his cowherds, ladies bathing and monkeys misbehaving. An elderly lady gingerly walking with a stick and a mother cradling her baby, an arcade of market stalls above with beautifully observed representations of the different traders.
The distinctive style of the Kishangarh school, with their accentuated facial features, receding foreheads and slim-waisted figures, had its beginnings in the first half of the eighteenth century, under the influence of artists such as Bhavanidas. The style was then further developed during the reign of Raja Sawant Singh by artists such as Nihalchand.
This painting uses Nihalchand's characteristic tiered composition of alternating water and palace buildings rising to a sunset. It is likely that the buildings represented here are Mokham Vilas and Phool Mahal with the fort of Kishangarh looming behind. These pleasure gardens and flower palaces were the main residences of the Kishangarh ruling family and during the monsoon season were only accessible by boat. The distinctive pink colouring of the buildings references earlier depictions of the pink and orange outer walls of the palaces, as seen in The Gundalao Lake circa 1740 in the Kronos Collection Metropolitan Museum New York (McInerney et al 2016, p.110, no.30) and the Boat of Love circa 1750 in the National Museum in New Delhi (Dickinson and Khandavala 1959, pl.IX).