The sage-physician Dhanvantari, folio from the “Sixth” Bhagavata Purana series, also known as the “small” Guler-Basohli series

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At A Glance

  • Period

    ca. 1735-1740
  • Geography

    Guler, Himachal Pradesh state, India
  • Material

    Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
  • Dimension

    H x W (painting): 16.5 × 26.7 cm (6 1/2 × 10 1/2 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Artist

    Attributed to Manaku (active ca.1700-1760)
  • School/Tradition

    Guler school
  • Description

    Dressed in the fashion of a nobleman at the court of Shah Jahan, the divine sage Dhanvantari wears a white jama and a gold-bordered patka (sash) adorned with a large flower motif. His beard is white, his face wrinkled with age, and he wears a Vaishnava tilak mark on his forehead. He sits on a yellow carpet decorated with gray-green leaves and maroon flowers. A narrow strip of cloud-streaked sky borders the brilliant orange ground. He holds two objects that may be associated with medicine.
  • Inscriptions

    Verso: Three lines of Devanagari script in black and red ink: Herewith ends the first chapter Bhagavat Mahapurana. Dhanvantari (twelfth avatar) 16
  • Provenance

    To 1967
    Essajees, Mumbai, India. [1]
    From 1967 to 2001
    Ralph Benkaim (1914-2001), Beverly Hills, California, purchased from the Essajees, Mumbai, India in December 1967. [2]
    From 2001 to 2018
    Catherine Glynn Benkaim, Beverly Hills, California, by inheritance from Ralph Benkaim in 2001. [3]
    From 2018
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, partial gift and purchase from Catherine Glyn Benkaim. [4]
    [1] Ralph Benkaim purchased the painting in December 1967 from the Essajees of Mumbai, several years before Indian paintings were classified as antiquities by the Indian government.
    [2] See note 1.
    [3] See Acquisition Justification Form, object file, Collections Management Office.
    [4] See note 3.
  • Collection

    National Museum of Asian Art Collection
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Essajee's (founded 1890)
    Ralph (1914-2001) and Catherine Benkaim
    Catherine Glynn Benkaim
  • Origin

    Guler, 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

    CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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