Property from a Private Seattle Collection
Rawat Gokal Das celebrating holi in the zenana
Signed Bagta, Devgarh, dated 1808
Two line devanagari inscription verso and dated.
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper; the imposing ruler dressed in a white jama and adorned in a slightly reserved selection of jewels, commences the celebrations by squirting colored water from his syringe. The courtesan before him raises her hand spilling red powder ready to return fire. Three other courtesans in the group are armed with syringes with gazes fixed on the ruler ready to join the festivities. On the ground before them are silver rosewater sprinklers, perfume bottles and an array of large silver trays and bowls brimming with red and yellow powder, along with European blue and white bowls filled with the same. Behind the ruler five attendants offer more trays of powder, his favorite hookah, refreshments, and his sword and shield. The steps leading to the terrace are occupied by musicians in full swing. The joy of the composition is completed by the presence of mating and strutting pigeons below the railing and a multitude of parrots and minor birds perched on the ledges of the upper chambers.
Image: 17 1/4 x 23 7/8 in. (43.8 x 60.5 cm.) Folio: 20 x 25 in. (50.8 x 63.5 cm.)