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Rana Bhim Singh and Consort
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Item Details
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Northwestern India, Rajasthan, Rajput Kingdom of Mewar
Rana Bhim Singh and Consort
Work Type
c. 1810
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper
Miniature: 24.8 x 15.9 cm (9 3/4 x 6 1/4 in.)
One of the most celebrated artists in the history of painting at Mewar, Chokha rendered the king and his consort in an intense embrace, nestled amid an overabundance of bolsters in a love nest draped with flower garlands and entirely covered with pink flower petals. The bliss of the encounter is heightened when the viewer realizes that the lady has been waiting so long for his return, presumably from battle, that she has had the time to drape the bed so thoroughly. The rana, or king, has set aside his sword and shield at the foot of the bed to focus on his queen and offer her a garland.

The ideal of bhoga, or enjoyment, was considered an essential aspect of ideal kingship, and the depiction of a virile king enjoying himself, as in this painting, would be visual testament to the glory of his rule, even if the actual situation was far from ideal. By the time of Bhim Singh, British residents exerted control in the Mughal and Rajput courts, and the ranas of Mewar were facing financial ruin and political decline. A European-style chair sits in an upper room of the marble palace as a reminder of British influence.
Nagari at the top of the painting: M(a)harana ji Sri Bhim Singh ji.
Verso: Sabi: Ratho Bhimsingh Ri Kach Ju Me Rathore Bhim Singh Kacch Ju (could also
mean In Bhim Singh’s lap or closely by his side)
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Collection: Indian Art
Department: Indian and South East Asian Art
Gallery: 242B Indian Painting
Provenance: Catherine Glynn Benkaim and Barbara Timmer, Los Angeles, through 2018
Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection; Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund
Accession Number
Image and original data from The Cleveland Museum of Art
Use of this image is in accordance with the applicable Terms & Conditions
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