In the publication, this work is captioned as "The occasion seems to be Deepavali."
Devgarh where this painting was executed was a feudal state of Mewar and a place of active court patronage. Prominent artists such as Bagta and Chokha (flourished 1799-1826) worked both at Devgarh and Udaipur in the late 18th and early 19th century. A well-known painting in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London of Captain James Tod(d?) riding with Rawat Gokul Das (of Devgarh), dated 1817, was created at Udaipur although under Devgarh patronage (IM.447-1914). As Milo Cleveland Beach notes ‘[Devgarh’s] cultural character was determined by the standards set at Udaipur’ (Milo Cleveland Beach, Rawat Nahar Singh II, Rajasthani Painters, Bagta and Chokha, Master Artists at Devgarh, Zurich, 2005, p.21).
Playing with or watching fireworks seems to have been a favourite entertainment at court or in the intimacy of the zenana throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries. The subject was particularly popular in provincial Mughal paintings. Of course it is also associated with Diwali, the festival of lights. Many paintings are known such as one formerly in the Khosrovani-Diba Collection, recently sold at Sotheby’s, London, 19 October 2016, lot 17 and one in the Sarabhai Foundation, Ahmedabad (B.N. Goswamy, Indian Paintings in the Sarabhai Foundation, Ahmedabad, 2010, R.13, p.132).