Kunvar Sri Kisan in darbar with ministers and secretaries
Jodhpur, Marwar, circa 1740
Opaque watercolor and gold on card; verso with identification inscription in black nagari script: 'Sri Kisan'; The kunvar (prince) kneels on a small yellow rug, supported by a large bolster, wearing a tall, orange Marwari turban decorated with a jeweled turah (crest), and his forehead is painted with saffron tilaka (sectarian mark) stripes, with a gold punch dagger inlaid with rubies tucked into his gold silk patka, and two scribes with paper and writing implements kneel in front of the prince, while two Rajput clansmen, exercising their right privilege of remaining seated in the prince's presence, are on his left, a servant fans the prince with a yak-tail whisk.
By the mid 17th century, the Rathor chieftains of Marwar were emulating the etiquette of the Mughal emperors by holding darbars, or formal audiences, with courtiers arrayed about them. This painting is from the same school of artists as the painting The Darbar of Kunvar Rai Ram Singh of Jodhpur, cica 1745-50, illustrated in Noey & Temos, Art of India from the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, 1994, fig. 10, p. 25. The heads are rendered in a stylized manner, in full profile and with enlarged eyes. The luminously colored figure of the prince, which is painted in an intentionally smaller scale, contrasts superbly with the turgid colors of the ministers' magenta turbans and with the simple green and purple background.