Shankarabharana Ragaputra, folio from a

Detail of a pattern
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At A Glance

  • Period

    ca. 1680-1690
  • Geography

    Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh state, India
  • Material

    Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
  • Dimension

    H x W (painting): 21.6 × 15.2 cm (8 1/2 × 6 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • School/Tradition

    Bilaspur school
  • Inscriptions

    Verso: “Sri raga Sankarbharana” 6 6 in Takri
    Verso: “Sri raga Sankarbharana” 6 6 in Takri
  • Provenance

    ?-possibly 1940s
    Mandi royal collection, Mandi, India [1]
    Possibly 1940s-1977
    Ownership information unknown
    Maggs Bros. Ltd., London, method of acquisition unknown [2]
    Ralph Benkaim (1914-2001), purchased from Maggs Bros. Ltd., in London, England [3]
    Catherine Glynn Benkaim, by inheritance from Ralph Benkaim [4]
    From 2018
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, purchase and partial gift from Catherine Glynn Benkaim [5]
    [1] See purple rectangular stamp with “2306” written in the center on the verso of work. This is the seal of the Mandi Royal Collection. According to Cathy Glynn Benkaim, a large cache of paintings was dispersed from the Mandi storerooms in the 1940s. The dealer Radha Krishna Bharany (ca. 1877-1942) – father of Chhotelal Bharany, also a dealer –
    worked in Amritsar and was one of two dealers who handled the dispersal. See also curatorial notes titled “Shankarabharana Ragaputra, folio from a Ragamala,” May 2019, p. 135, copy in object file
    [2] See note 1. On November 20, 2017, Debra Diamond, Curator for South and Southeast Asian Art, sent a letter to Maggs Bros. Ltd. on Curzon Street, in an attempt to gather more information about this object’s provenance. An unknown representative from Maggs Bros. Ltd. responded on November 28, 2017. Based on curatorial notes, the representative’s response appears to focus only focus on the markings on the verso of the painting. Two attempts were also made to contact Maggs Bros. Ltd. via email (unknown dates). By November 26, 2018, Maggs Bros. Ltd. had not responded to the emails.
    See also draft of the letter to Maggs Bros. Ltd., dated September 26, 2017, copy in object file.
    Maggs Bros. Ltd. is a London dealer of rare books and manuscripts that was founded in 1853 by Uriah Maggs.
    [3] See note 1. According to information provided by Catherine Glynn Benkaim, Ralph Benkaim purchased this object in London in January 1977.
    Ralph Benkaim was an entertainment lawyer from Los Angles who started collecting Indian and Islamic art in 1961.
    [4] See “Archived Provenance and Provenance Remarks,” dated January 20, 2023, copy in object file.
    Catherine Glynn Benkaim is a collector and scholar in the field of Indian painting. Ms. Benkaim met her husband, Ralph Benkaim, in the 1970s when she was the curator of Indian painting at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The couple were married 1979 and together they amassed a collection of Indian paintings, which included examples from all genres. They collected objects for their collection through dealers and auctions. Objects from their collection may also be found in the Cleveland Museum of Art, Williams College Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, among others.
    [5] See “Appendix B Bill of Sale” and “Appendix C Donor Substantiation Letter,” dated January 2, 2018, copy in object file.
    Research updated January 26, 2023
  • Collection

    National Museum of Asian Art Collection
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Mandi Royal Collection
    Maggs Bros. Ltd. (founded 1853)
    Ralph Benkaim (1914-2001)
    Catherine Glynn Benkaim
  • Origin

    Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh state, India
  • Credit Line

    Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection — funds provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries
  • Type

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