Jhujhar Singh on Horseback

An inscription on the verso of this painting identifies “Rathor Jhujhar Singh, son of Sujan Singh from the village of Phluyai [Phulya?].” Jhujhar Singh was a minor landowning nobleman (thakur) of Marwar. He is shown armed with a lance as well as a bow and arrow and seated on a beautiful, dappled gray horse. In front of him is an attendant, also carrying a bow and arrow. The figures are set on a narrow, solid-colored band and backed by a uniform, warm sage green tone that is topped by a similar narrow band of sky. The overall formulation of such equestrian portraits derives from Mughal prototypes, as do the naturalistic rendering of the garments, the animal, and the portraits and the sage green background. But the manner in which the painting is composed—with the horse’s tail, the tip of the spear, and the extremities of the attendant touching the edges of the picture—shows the Rajasthani tendency to flatten out the pictorial space and create dynamic forms on the surface of the painting.

Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper


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Attributed to Dalchand

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Metropolitan Museum of Art

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