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Folio from a series depicting castes and their characteristics: Joharin (Johari jati [jeweller caste] woman) with eager clients, her husband in an adjoining chamber. Bundelkhand, circa 1720. Opaque watercolour with gold on wasli. Couplet to the reverse written in Hindi in Bundelkhandi dialect. 34.5 x 25cm
The Johari Jati (caste) is a one of jewellers. The doha (couplet) to the reverse says that the Joharin has the jewel of love to give and in exchange will receive real actual jewels.
The series previously has been attributed to Marwar (Bonhams, New York, 18.3.13, lot 84), Malwa (Prahlad Bubbar, http://www.prahladbubbar.com/miniature/krishna-the-divine-lover, accessed 3/12/13), Malpura (Sothebys, New York,15.9.11, lot 81) and until now on this page to Raghogarh. Indian independent scholar and author Narmada Prasad Upadhyaya - who kindly translated the inscriptions to this painting - has established the nature and origin of the series and has prior to his monograph on paintings from Bundelkhand kindly granted permission for this website to publish for the first time his findings. These are that the series was painted by a single artist from Bundelkhand with Bundelkhandi the dialect of the couplets inscribed on the reverse of some if not all folios. Each painting employs the same format of three horizontal registers. The upper register always features Radha and Krishna in a variety of postures. This is due to the rulers under whose patronage these paintings were produced and the artists who created them both doing so as an act of devotion to Krishna and Radha. The middle register depicts a female member of one of the castes of India in a scene relating to caste characteristics, in this instance of a Kurmin, in Sotheby's (N.Y. 15.9.11, lot 84) a Bhilani (Bhil tribeswoman), and in a currently unpublished example in my possession a Joharin (jeweller caste). The lower register always features a building with onion-domed roof standing on pink rocks flanked on either side by similar rocky outcrops.
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Image above & below: gilt detail reflecting light
Images and text © Peter Blohm 2014