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Posthumous portrait of Maharana Jagat Singh II (reigned 1734-51) of Mewar dispensing pan to his brother Nathji. Royal workshop artist at Udaipur, capital of Mewar, circa early 19th century. Opaque watercolour with gold on wasli (hand-made paper for miniature painting). 38 x 26.6cm.
When a maharana gave pan (areca nut, lime and other fillings wrapped in a betel leaf small parcel) to a minister or courtier, it was a polite signal for the visitor to leave, i.e. here we see Maharana Jagat Singh who dispenses pan to his brother Nathji, dismissing him with courtesy according to court protocol.
Nathji features in published paintings with Jagat Singh II in:
'Paintings from Rajasthan in the National Gallery of Victoria', Andrew Topsfield, 1980, cat. 111;
'The City Palace Museum, Udiapur: Paintings of Mewar Court Life', Andrew Topsfield, 1990, cat. 10; 'Court Painting at Udaipur', Andrew Topsfield, 2008, fig. 145
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Above: gilt detail reflecting light
Images and text © Peter Blohm