• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12471

    Arts of India

    26 May 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 40

    PORTRAIT OF RAJA SHAMSHER SEN OF MANDI

    MANDI, NORTH INDIA, CIRCA 1780

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    PORTRAIT OF RAJA SHAMSHER SEN OF MANDI
    MANDI, NORTH INDIA, CIRCA 1780
    Opaque pigments on paper, the Raja wears pink robe and turban, he sits against a red bolster, smoking a huqqa, two visiting courtiers kneel before him, attendants around them, a striped carpet on the ground, with green background, within yellow and black rules and red borders
    8 1/8 x 10 3/8in. (20.5 x 27cm.)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    Raja Shamsher Sen (1727-1781) was the grandson of Raja Sidh Sen of Mandi (r. 1684-1727), a portrait of which was painted by the Master at the Court of Mankot in around 1730 (now in the Rietberg Museum, RVI 1225; M. Beach, E. Fischer, B. Goswamy and J. Britschgi, Masters of Indian Painting, Vol II, 1650-1900, Artibus Asiae. Supplementum 48 I/II, 2011, fig.11, p514). Mandi painting evolved out of painting in Basohli in a more independent way than other schools such as Kulu did. By 1780 however, there is a definitive attempt to leave behind the rustic look of earlier 18th century paintings. Like Mankot, it specialized in portraiture. According to Archer, Raja Shamsher Sen was noted for 'mental instability, a wilful liking for low companions, crazy habits and even at times for odd dressings-up'. For a portrait of him and a short discussion on the Raja, see W.G. Archer, Visions of Courtly India, The Archer Collection of Pahari Miniatures, Washington, 1976, cat.59, pp.110-111. Another portrait is published in Rajput Miniatures from the Collection of Edwin Binney, 3rd, Portland, 1968, cat.67, p.89.

    Provenance

    Acquired before 1991.