Royal Paintings from Jodhpur


The Seattle Asian Art Museum is showing a marvelous exhibit of Indian watercolor paintings from the 17th through the 19th century, titled Garden and Cosmos. The paintings were Rajasthani royal commissions, and were only recently discovered in Marwar / Jodhpur. They span a period of many decades and range from playful domestic scenes of palace life to metaphysical maps of the cosmos. Many of the paintings are giant miniatures. That is to say, they are 4 or 5 feet long and filled with amazingly intricate and colorful detail.

Here is a painting from the exhibition, Sage Makandeya’s Ashram , attributed to the “Darga Master”. Click and zoom to see a very high resolution image.


There’s a nice interactive guide to the exhibition at Seattle Art Museum and another at the Smithsonian’s Freer-Sackler Galleries, where they were exhibited previously. Neither site includes the paintings that I found the most delightful, unfortunately – but it’s best to see them in person anyway, and pore over their every charming detail.

Here are some more paintings and some detail excerpts.






The show is at Seattle Asian Art Museum until April 26th, 2009, then it will move to the British Museum and the National Museum of India. Highly recommended.

~ by lolarusa on March 1, 2009.

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