Chamba or Nurpur, India
Tempera on paper
Numbered 74 and 4619 on reverse
Inscribed in the upper border in Farsi ‘pisr-i-raja Bakht Singh’
‘Son of Raja Bakht Singh’
The young prince, identified by inscription as the son of Raja Bakht Singh, is here depicted riding a fine white stallion. The prince wears a golden turban, and a deep orange jama flecked with gold, that is tied at the waist with a green sash. He holds a spear in his right hand and the reins of his horse in his left, a push dagger is tucked into his sash at his waist, and a full quiver of arrows hangs from his saddle. The horse is bedecked with a fine golden saddlecloth and a gold and purple ornamental tassel hangs from the stallion’s neck. The painting is replete with the all the accoutrements expected of royalty and is clearly intended to reinforce the status of the young prince. The curve of the animal’s neck off set against the deep brown of the background, is complemented by the abstract shape of the falling tassel that creates a quietly elegant composition. Although the region of production is likely to have been Chamba or Nurpur the elegant outline of the horse and the oversized tassel is reminiscent of horse portraiture in Kishangarh at a similar period.