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Title A royal stallion and its groom
Collection Artworld: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Date 1700-1729 CE
Description This image is bordered in blue flecked with gold. The background is unpainted paper. The stallion has a small head, thick arching neck, concave back, rising rump and slim legs. It is prancing on the spot while the elderly groom holds an incense burner under the its nostrils.
The stallion's belly and legs have been dyed red with henna to indicate that it has been in battle. The embroidered saddle cloth is very decorative and the head plume adds to the stallion's finery.
There are areas of correction around the groom's feet and the stallion's tail.
Description Source Lorna Hards
Cultural Context Indian
Id Number Current Accession 873
Location Creation Site Bharat, Rajasthan, Kishangarh
Location Current Repository Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Subject visual work, painting
Measurements 264 x 176 x 1 mm
Context The white stallion is immaculately groomed and its legs and belly dyed red with henna to suggest that it has waded through the blood of battle; this martial symbolism being undermined by a neat row of flowering plants painted in henna above the dyed skin. Its trappings include an embroidered saddlecloth and a plumed head ornament. The elderly groom waves an incense burner under the horse's nostrils, presumably as prescribed in the standard texts on farriery that are a feature of Rajput manuscript libraries.
Although it follows established precedents of seventeenth century Mughal equine portraiture (cf. Falk and Archer, 1981: pl. 55), the painting shows the extreme elegance and some of the anatomical distortions that characterise the depiction of horses by Kishangarh artists. An inscription in Hindi on the reverse 'ghoro haridan' gives the horse's name as Haridan, i.e. 'Gift of Hari' - Hari being a name of the God Vishnu. For a later Kishangarh painting which is apparently derived from this one, see Falk et al. (1978: no. 75).
Context Source Robert Skelton. In: Steven Hooper (ed.). 1997. Catalogue to the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection. University of East Anglia.
Rights Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, UEA, Norwich, 2002. All Rights reserved
Work Type painting



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