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Salagram


Artist's cultural association:
Kotah style
Raja Umaid Singh of Kotah (r. 1771-1819) hawking c. 1810 Place made: Kotah, Rajasthan, India
Materials & Technique: paintings, miniatures, opaque watercolour, gold Support: paper

Dimensions: image (recto) 26.3 h x 17.2 w cm mount 36.6 h x 27.6 w cm
Acknowledgement: The Gayer-Anderson Gift 1954
Accession No: NGA 91.1397A
Provenance:
  • acquired in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, possibly from descendants of the artist, by Colonel Thomas Gayer Gayer-Anderson, 1927
  • exported from India by Colonel Thomas Gayer Gayer-Anderson, 1930
  • held in the collection of Colonel Thomas Gayer Gayer-Anderson and Major Robert Grenville Gayer-Anderson, Pasha, both of The Little Hall, Lavenham, Suffolk, England, 1927-1953
  • who gave it to the Commonwealth of Australia, 1953
  • held by National Library of Australia, Canberra, after transfer from London, 1954-1991
  • transferred to the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 1991.
  • The collecting history of this painting is partial. The earliest confirmed transaction is its purchase by the donor in India in 1927. It is known that the donor purchased many works in Jaipur in 1927 from the descendants of the artists who created them, and this painting may be one of those. The National Gallery of Australia welcomes further information regarding its history of ownership prior to 1927.

Rajput court painters developed a tradition of depicting rulers pursuing royal pastimes. The portraits were intended to glorify rulers and to convey aspects of their appearance and personality. Here Maharao Umaid Singh of Kotah (now Kota) engages in hawking, a sport of the elite. The small painting captures Umaid Singh’s passion for hunting and horsemanship, while his ornate costume suggests great wealth. The golden nimbus is an allusion to the Rajputs’ divine right to rule. The painter, Salagram, was probably from a family of Rajasthani artists.


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label