The Brahmin's son departs to fetch water for King Mangal, from the Bhavishyottara Purana

Detail of a pattern
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At A Glance

  • Period

    ca. 1750
  • Geography

    Nurpur, Himachal Pradesh state, India
  • Material

    Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
  • Dimension

    H x W (painting): 33.4 × 45.5 cm (13 1/8 × 17 15/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • School/Tradition

    Nurpur school
  • Description

    The vast landscape is inhabited with numerous trees, large and small, birds, deer, nilgai and boar. The noble is dressed in purple, while the messenger is dressed in white, rides a white, caparisoned horse.
  • Inscriptions

    Inscription on verso: devanagari numeral 14 on the top. middle verse 36 and 37
  • Provenance

    Chhote Bharany, New Delhi, India, method of acquisition unknown [1]
    Ralph Benkaim (1914-2001), purchased from Chhote Bharany in the United States [2]
    Catherine Glynn Benkaim, by inheritance from Ralph Benkaim [3]
    From 2018
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, purchase and partial gift from Catherine Glynn Benkaim [4]
    [1] See curatorial notes titled “The Brahmin's son departs to fetch water for King Mangal, from the Bhavishyottara Purana,” dated May 2019, pp. 143-144, copy in object file.
    Chhote Bharany (Chhotelal Bharany; C. L. Bharany) is a prolific dealer and collector of Indian art across various genres, but he is known for specializing in Indian paintings. Bharany stared his business in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in 1944 before relocating to New Delhi the in South Extension neighborhood in 1962.
    he sold objects to private collectors and museum both in India and abroad. Bharany’s father, Radha Krishna Bharany (ca. 1977-1942), was also a dealer and collector, active in Amritsar. C. L. Bharany inherited and expanded upon his father’s personal collection, and, in 2014, he gave objects from the joint collection to the National Museum in Kolkata. See “A Passionate Eye: Textiles, Paintings, and Sculptures from the Bharany Collections,” ed. Giles Tillotson (Mumbai: The Marg Foundation, 2014). In February 2023, Jagdish Mittal also relayed this information to Debra Diamond, Curator for South and Southeast Asian Art, National Museum of Asian Art, and added that C. L. Bharany established his gallery in South Extension, New Delhi.
    [2] See note 1. According to information provided by Catherine Glynn Benkaim in 2016, all the paintings from Chhote Bharany were purchased in the United States.
    Ralph Benkaim was an entertainment lawyer from Los Angles who started collecting Indian and Islamic art in 1961.
    [3] See note 1.
    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.
    [4] See “Appendix B Bill of Sale” and “Appendix C Donor Substantiation Letter,” dated January 2, 2018, copy in object file.
    Research updated January 27, 2023
  • Collection

    National Museum of Asian Art Collection
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Chhote Bharany (New Dehli, India)
    Ralph (1914-2001) and Catherine Benkaim
    Catherine Glynn Benkaim
  • Origin

    Nurpur, 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

  • Restrictions and Rights

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