Maharaja Takhat Singh of Jodhpur playing Holi with a bhagtan

Maharaja Takhat Singh (1813, r.1843-1873) of Jodhpur
playing Holi with a bhagtan

by Jodhpur court artist
circa 1850 CE

Gouache on paper
11.3 x 7.8 in. (28.7 x 19.8 cm.)

Front: “47 Maharaja Shri Shri Takhat Singhji 51”

Holi, festival of colours, is one of the many festivals celebrated with great pomp in almost all the Rajput kingdoms, especially at Jodhpur. This subject was painted in the ateliers of all the subsequent Maharajas of Jodhpur.

Maharaja Takhat Singh of Jodhpur gave generous patronage to his predecessor Maharaja Man Singh’s atelier. Though not very effective at administrative aspects, Takhat Singh basked in leisure activities and celebrations which were documented in many paintings.

Compositionally this depiction owes to Maharaja Man Singh’s Holi depiction. This composition appears incomplete as it lacks the festive zeal due to absence of staining and squirting of Holi colours. This composition is crucial from a study point of view as it depicts the artist’s approach to painting Holi scenes where final detailing is not delineated for it would have smudged under the paint splatter.