An Audience with Rom Rishi

Historical period(s)
ca. 1700-1725
Mewar school
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
H x W (painting): 18.1 × 28.6 cm (7 1/8 × 11 1/4 in) H x W (overall): 22.2 × 32.4 cm (8 3/4 × 12 3/4 in)
India, Rajasthan state, Mewar
Credit Line
Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection — funds provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries
Ralph and Catherine Benkaim collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


ascetic, attendant, court, India, Ralph and Catherine Benkaim collection, sword

To 1967
Indian Arts Palace, New Delhi [1]

From 1967 to 2001
Ralph Benkaim (1914-2001), Beverly Hills, California, purchased from Indian Arts Palace, New Delhi in December 1967 [2]

From 2001 to 2018
Catherine Glynn Benkaim, Beverly Hills, California, by inheritance from Ralph Benkaim in 2001

From 2018
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, partial gift and purchase from Catherine Glynn Benkaim

[1] Ralph Benkaim purchased the painting from Indian Arts Palace, Delhi in December 1967, several years before Indian paintings were classified as antiquities by the Indian government, according to Ralph Benkaim’s personal records, as relayed by Catherine Glynn Benkaim.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Indian Arts Palace New Dehli, India
Catherine Glynn Benkaim
Ralph and Catherine Benkaim


From the evidence of this painting, Rom Rishi (literally, hairy sage) appears to have been the leader of a band of militant ascetics devoted to Vishnu. Wearing Vaishnava tilaks on their foreheads, his attendants, one of whom fans him with a large leaf, are armed with shields and swords. The women and men of the court, all finely dressed, are seated to the right side of the rishi.

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

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