(Indian, active mid-1700s)
Gum tempera and gold on paper
Sheet: 42.5 x 47 cm (16 3/4 x 18 1/2 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1998.102
The painting is signed on the reverse by the artist—a rare occurrence in Indian painting. The name reads "Jugarsi, son of Jiva."
One of the favorite pastimes of the Rajput nobility was hunting, a subject frequently depicted in secular painting in Rajasthan. Often much larger than other Indian paintings, hunting scenes glorified the pleasures and splendors of these stately affairs. This colorful painting depicts a royal hunt conducted by the Maharana Jagat Singh II of Udaipur. An inscription on the reverse side of the painting mentions the Maharana's name along with the hunting party's other participants, including the Maharana's brother.
The hunt takes place in a detailed landscape of hills and varied vegetation. The animals (tiger, bear, wild boar, deer, stag, and antelope) are rounded up and diverted by servants (who shoot firecrackers) toward the shooting box at the center of the composition, where the royal members of the hunting party await their prey. Another group of servants with dogs approaches from the opposite direction to cut off the animals' route of escape. Some beasts are already killed or wounded, while others are trying desperately to run for their lives.
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