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8. Rupmati & Baz Bahadur Hunting at Night
Mughal, Delhi, India
c.1750 – 60
Opaque watercolors heightened with gold on paper
Leaf: 8 3/8 x 10 7/8 in. (213 x 277 mm)
Image: 7 ¾ X 10 1/8 in. (197 x 257 mm)
Rupmati & Baz Bahadur Hunting at Night

Provenance:
- ‘A Sterling Collection’ of Indian & Himalayan Art · Denver · 1990 – 2011
- Sotheby’s NY · October 6, 1990 · Lot 19
- William K Ehrenfeld Collection · California

Published & Exhibited:  
Indian Miniatures: The Ehrenfeld Collection, Ehnbom,
Hudson Hills Press, New York, 1985, Cat. No. 30

Published: 
‘A Sterling Collection’ of Indian & Himalayan Art · Kapoor Galleries Inc, March 2011 · Cat. No. 15

“This leaf illustrates a popular subject in Indian painting, the passionate love of Baz Bahadur, last king of Malwa (r.1555-61) before its absorption into the Mughal empire in 1561, and his Hindu courtesan Rupmati, famous all over India for her skill as a dancer. Here the lovers are shown hunting at night, seemingly more interested in each other than in any quarry. A dark ground gives way to a somber forest and a night sky of deep blue. In the center, the lovers flow as if illuminated by an inner light. A tree directly behind them reflects their effulgence and provides a frame of light-green leaves. The kings robe is a sunny yellow, while Rupmati’s garment is of opalescent white. She is heavily jeweled. The lightly tinted horses sport rich tack. They rear up, but so gently that the lovers are not disturbed and continue to stare into each others’ eyes. A pool is in the lower right. The yellow border is decorated with a conventional pattern of stylized flowers. The lover’s idyllic life together ended in sorrow. When Akbar (r. 1556 – 1605) and his forces took the city of Mandu, Baz Bahadur fled without his beloved and she committed suicide rather than submit to a conqueror. Traditional Indian songs still popular today tell the story of the ill- fated lovers … “
-Daniel J. Ehnbom, Indian Miniatures, The Ehrenfeld Collection.

Price On Request

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