Gum tempera and gold on paper
Overall: 28.3 x 39.2 cm (11 1/8 x 15 7/16 in.); with borders: 31.6 x 42.7 cm (12 7/16 x 16 13/16 in.)
Bequest of Mrs. Severance A. Millikin 1989.344
Quivers of arrows are tied to the front corners of the palanquin.
The king sits in his litter with a sun and moon disk behind his head, emphasizing the light of divine sanction for his rule. His power and grandeur seem to inspire his attendants to stride with effortless enthusiasm. Symbols of royalty abound in his retinue: cavaliers on horseback, spear bearers, soldiers with swords and daggers, attendants with peacock-feather fans, and archers carrying bows draped in red and quivers full of arrows.
The small kingdom of Kota achieved independence in 1624, and its rulers, called rao (king) or maharao (great king) in the local dialect of Rajasthani, supported an atelier of artists at their court. Kota artists were known for dynamic and idealized portrayals of their rulers engaged in activities that emphasized the king’s supreme status.
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