Two drawings, each depicting a prince, with unusual artist's annotations Bikaner, late 18th Century(2)

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Lot 97
Two drawings, each depicting a prince, with unusual artist's annotations
Bikaner, late 18th Century
(2)

£ 1,500 - 2,000
US$ 2,000 - 2,600
Two drawings, each depicting a prince, with unusual artist's annotations
Bikaner, late 18th Century
pen and ink with some colour on paper, both with annotations in nagari script
229 x 126 mm.; 225 x 115 mm.(2)

Footnotes

  • From the many unusual inscriptions on both works it seems clear that they were intended to be subsequently painted with gouache and gold, either by a colourist in the workshop, or that they are notational reminders to the artist himself, often in poetic terms. The drawings are a rare opportunity to study the methods of Indian miniature painters.
    The inscriptions are as follows:
    A. (reading top to bottom)
    The colour of his face is described as 'wheatish'. The gemstones in his sarpech are moonga (orange) and 'vegetable' (i.e. green) set into gold. The stripes of his turban are notated in a sequence of gold, green (?) and sone ri, meaning 'gold of...', perhaps referring to a certain shade of gold, resulting in two tones of gold on the turban. The colour of his pearl necklace, described in the manner of pothi ra bal, or 'spoken like a toothless man' (i.e. garbled), is simply described as pearl. The lappets of his jama are notated as gold and gold colour. The jama itself is described as a jama gulabi or rose-coloured. The patka is red with sone (gold) end panels containing floral sprays. The inscription on the sheath of the sword describes the colour as silu si bani or the colour of metal. The stripes of his trousers are in gold and zarri, another shade of gold. His shoes are also gold, with red tips. The strip of grass on which the prince stands is to be hari sabzi or 'the colour of a green vegetable'. The background of the painting is described as light blue. At the top of the painting: Ghoyo Sho(?), perhaps the name of the subject, the owner of the painting, or the painter. To the top right the upper line of the inscription reads 'Ustad Nathuji from top took down', so Ustad Nathuji may be the name of the artist. This is followed by a short line possibly meaning 'in the likeness of' followed by a longer line 'in the likeness of Sriman Singhji's children'. Perhaps therefore the painting was commissioned by a certain Sriman Singhji and it is the portrait of one of his sons.

    B. The sky is described as blue and white and this is followed by the word Ghoyo(?). The colour of his face is described as fair with red (shading). The main body of his turban is to be painted with alternating bands of colour, 'one band of [undeciphered]' followed by 'one band of pearl colour'. The bands on the peak of his turban have are to be painted with lehariyo sone ro, meaning lehariya (textile patterns from Rajasthan) in gold, alternating with red. Written on his upper arm are instructions for the colour of his jama, which is to be orange and gold. To the right of the prince, gold is indicated for the background. The tops of his lappets are red. His patka is to be red in colour with gold for the floral design at the end. Two inscriptions indicate the colours of his unusual trousers with densely gathered horizontal pleats. The trousers are in gold with contrasting creases of red. The point of his shoe is rose followed by a band of gold. The ground on which the prince stands is to be coloured a deep green.
Contacts
Two drawings, each depicting a prince, with unusual artist's annotations Bikaner, late 18th Century(2)
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