The Young Maharaja of Indore in Durbar

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The Young Maharaja of Indore in Durbar, c. 1850
19th century
Creation Place: Indore, Madya Pradesh, India
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
52 x 42 cm (20 1/2 x 16 9/16 in.)
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Richard Norton Memorial Fund
, 2011.99
Department of Islamic & Later Indian Art
This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. Please contact the curatorial department listed above for more information.
Occupying the center of this painting is a princely youth, identified by Naveen Patnaik as Tukaji Rao Holkar II (1836-86). The young maharaja is seated in durbar on a low, red upholstered throne with scrolling arms and backrest. Richly dressed in jewels and a green garment, he is flanked by ten courtiers, all dressed in white robes seated with legs akimbo. An attendant stands behind the maharaja lofting a floral standard or fan. All twelve figures are rendered in strict profile, but the maharaja is distinguished by a green nimbus ringed in gold. Each courtier has before him a plate holding drinks and "pan", while the maharaja holds a sprig of flowers.

Rendered in imperfect single point perspective, the hall has pink walls that are pierced on one side by horseshoe arches that open to a cloud-filled sky. The floor is checkered in blue and white tiles and the black ceiling is painted in gold foliate patterns. Three grand chandeliers of European design hang from the ceiling and matching sconces are affixed to the walls and pillars. Large mirrors framed in green occupy the back and side walls.
Ismail Merchant, [Christie's London, 7th October 2009, Lot 134] sold; to [Simon Ray, London, August 2011] sold; to Harvard Art Museums.
Exhibition History
Recent Acquisitions, Part II: Building the Collection, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 06/19/2012 - 09/29/2012