AN ILLUSTRATION TO A BHAGAVATA PURANA SERIES: JARASANDHA'S BATTLE MARCH TO MATHURA, INDIA, GULER, CIRCA 1760
PROPERTY OF A NEW YORK CITY COLLECTION
AN ILLUSTRATION TO A BHAGAVATA PURANA SERIES: JARASANDHA'S BATTLE MARCH TO MATHURA
INDIA, GULER, CIRCA 1760
Attributed to Fattu, eldest son of Manaku
Opaque watercolor on paper heightened with gold
image: 14 ¾ by 11 in. (37.5 by 27.8 cm)
folio: 11 ¾ by 16 in. (29.8 by 40.6 cm)
Mrs. F.K. Smith, Sotheby's London, February 3, 1960, lot 2
New York Collection, acquired 1968
A group of trumpeters herald the advent of King Jarasandha, seated on a chariot drawn by two white steeds, with his retinue following behind. According to the Bhagavata Purana, Jarasandha, father-in-law of Kamsa, ruler of Mathura, who was overthrown and killed by Krishna, attacked the Yadavas who usurped the throne of Mathura, seventeen times to avenge the widowing of his daughters at the hands of Krishna. Finally, he decided to seek an alliance with another powerful ruler, Kalayavana, to mount his eighteenth and final fearsome attack on Mathura.
The elderly king’s face is strong and purposeful. The painting is characterized by the individualized portraiture of each participant in the procession, laid out against a spare ground of celadon and green. For further discussion on the album/ series to which this illustration belongs, see the previous lot 378.
Compare the profile of Jarasandha and the faces of his attendants with an earlier folio in the Victoria and Albert Museum dated circa 1740 depicting the disrobing of Draupadi, see W. G. Archer, Indian Paintings from the Punjab Hills, London and New York, 1973, vol. II, p. 99, no. 14. Here the handiwork of Manaku’s workshop is apparent in the bold, confident lines. Also see another illustration depicting the battle between Jarasandha and Krishna’s brother Balarama at the Yale University Art Gallery, accession number 2001.138.32.