People fording a river during the monsoon
Early Mewar works were in Indian style and by the 17th century the artists had become famous for illustrations of the Krishna stories from the Bhagavata Purana, and also for illustrations of a 12th century love poem, the Gita Govinda. But under Raj Ragat Singh (1628-52) artists also produced typically Rajput paintings with strong colour schemes illustrating festivals, hunts and even narrative landscape pictures rarely seen in Indian painting. By the 18th century these landscape paintings were often very large, showing hundreds of people and providing an excellent history of Rajput life.
This is one of the Indian landscape scenes from Mewar – it has been called an Indian “genre” painting. It does not illustrate religious legends but is full of scenes from everyday life. The river is in flood in the middle of the painting and there are various figures fording it – a mounted Rajput in the front is passed by a group of villagers, who are probably going to visit the hermit. A woman on the far left bank is watched by another Rajput who seems to have left his sword and shield beside her. There are cranes flying and peacocks and monkeys in the tree on the left.
Description taken from the ‘Art From The Indian Sub-Continent In The Sainsbury Centre’ catalogue by Margaret A. Willey (Sainsbury Centre, UEA, 1995).
Title/Description: People fording a river during the monsoon
Born: 1830 c.
Object Type: Drawing
Measurements: Unframed: (h. 224 x w. 288 x d. 1 mm) Framed: (h. 410 x w. 470 x d. 16 mm)
Accession Number: 581
Historic Period: 19th century
School/Style: Indian Miniatures
Credit Line: Donated by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury, 1978