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Portrait of Raja Sansar Chand of Kangra

Asian Art

Typical Indian portrait paintings show the subject standing in profile, usually holding an emblematic object. In the Punjab Hills, a mountainous area between Delhi and the Western Himalayas, artists altered the format somewhat by depicting their rulers seated, in more casual situations, usually smoking a huqqa. Usually these rulers sit on carpets on the floor, but here Sansar Chand, the raja of Kangra (reigned 1775–1823) and a great patron of Indian painting, sits on a seat with a tiny footstool. He is addressed by one of his ministers while a servant uses a yak-tail fly whisk to shoo away insects. This slightly abraded work was one of the first Indian paintings to enter the Brooklyn Museum’s collection, as a gift from an important scholar and collector who introduced Kangra-style paintings to the West.
MEDIUM Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
  • Place Made: Punjab Hills, India
  • DATES ca. 1800-1810
    DIMENSIONS sheet: 8 3/4 x 7 1/4 in. (22.2 x 18.4 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Dr. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Indian. Portrait of Raja Sansar Chand of Kangra, ca. 1800-1810. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, sheet: 8 3/4 x 7 1/4 in. (22.2 x 18.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, 36.243 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 36.243_IMLS_PS3.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 36.243_IMLS_PS3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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