Title:Court Lady with AttendantArtist:Artist UnknownDate:c. 1720Creation Place:Asia, IndiaCredit Line:The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip FundAccession Number:79.17
Paintings made at the Rajasthan court of Bikaner reflect close ties to Mughal culture. This relationship began with Mughal artists who worked at Bikaner during the seventeenth century. The Mughal preference for intricate detail and gentle naturalism is evident in this lyrical depiction of an attendant fanning with peacock feathers a reclining court lady. Rajasthani painting is distinguished by bold and vibrant primary colors, but in Bikaner works, figures seem to float in landscapes defined by cool pastels. This scene reflects both the palette of the Mughal courts and the delicate drawing and subtle expression that characterized Bikaner painting of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Although this intimate vignette of a young woman might be no more than it appears, the subject probably represents one of the ragamalas, or classical musical modes, such as the Gunkali or Molsri Rajini.