A Raja and His Courtiers in Procession Outside a Walled City

A prince mounted on an ornately decorated elephant, preceded by a younger relative seated upon a horse, advances with a party of 108 courtiers, servants and soldiers. The drummers and musicians announcing his advance, the cavalry and cannon he commands, and the golden elephant howdah are all indications of his status. The pet cheetah borne on an ox cart in the painting’s center foreground is, in all likelihood, a gift for the enthroned ruler watching the procession from a marble pavilion at the walled city’s perimeter.

Historical period(s)
Reign of Nizam Ali Khan, ca. 1785-90
Movement
Hyderabad Court
School
Deccani School
Medium
Opaque watercolor, gold and silver on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 63.6 x 145.2 cm (25 1/16 x 57 3/16 in)
Geography
India, Deccan plateau, Andhra Pradesh state, Hyderabad
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F2000.15
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Painting

Keywords
city, courtier, cymbal, drum, elephant, horse, India, music, raja, wall, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Description

A prince mounted on an ornately decorated elephant, preceded by a younger relative seated upon a horse, advances with a party of 108 courtiers, servants and soldiers. The drummers and musicians announcing his advance, the cavalry and cannon he commands, and the golden elephant howdah are all indications of his status. The pet cheetah borne on an ox cart in the painting's center foreground is, in all likelihood, a gift for the enthroned ruler watching the procession from a marble pavilion at the walled city's perimeter.

Published References
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court., 2nd. Washington and Ahmedabad, India, 2012. cat. 55, p. 185.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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