Diwan Nawal Singh, Prime Minister of Datia

Dressed in an ink blue jama and a rich orange turban with a matching wave-patterned (leheriya) sash (patka), Nawal Singh sits beneath a cool white canopy. An enormous amber-colored bolster with gold leaf-shaped motifs supports him. Suitable to his status, attendants wait on him and one waves a peacock feathered fly-whisk (morchal), a symbol of royalty.

Historical period(s)
ca. 1750
School
Datia school
Medium
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W (painting): 29.2 × 21.3 cm (11 1/2 × 8 3/8 in) H x W (overall): 32.8 × 24.7 cm (12 15/16 × 9 3/4 in)
Geography
India, Madhya Pradesh state, Datia
Credit Line
Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection — funds provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S2018.1.19
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Painting

Keywords
courtier, fan, hookah, India, man, portrait, Ralph and Catherine Benkaim collection, statesman
Provenance

From 1750 to ?
The Maharaja of the princely State of Datia.

To 1964
Ray E. Lewis (1923-2005), San Francisco, California. [1]

From 1964 to 2001
Ralph Benkaim (1914-2001), Beverly Hills, California, purchased from Ray E. Lewis in May 1964. [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 Glynn Benkaim. [4]

Notes:

[1] Ralph Benkaim purchased the painting in 1964 from R.E. Lewis, San Francisco, several years before Indian paintings were classified as antiquities by the Indian government, according to his personal records via Catherine Glynn Benkaim.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See note 1.

[4] See Acquisition Consideration Form, object file, Collections Management Office.

Previous Owner(s)

Catherine Glynn Benkaim
Ralph and Catherine Benkaim
Maharaja of Datia active 18th century
Ray E. Lewis 1923-2005

Description

Dressed in an ink blue jama and a rich orange turban with a matching wave-patterned (leheriya) sash (patka), Nawal Singh sits beneath a cool white canopy. An enormous amber-colored bolster with gold leaf-shaped motifs supports him. Suitable to his status, attendants wait on him and one waves a peacock feathered fly-whisk (morchal), a symbol of royalty.

Inscription(s)

An inscription at the top identifies Nawal Singh as a high-ranking civil officer (diwan).

Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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