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A HORSE AND GROOM
A HORSE AND GROOM
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A HORSE AND GROOM

ATTRIBUTED TO BAGTA, DEVGARH, NORTH INDIA, CIRCA 1760-1800

Details
A HORSE AND GROOM
ATTRIBUTED TO BAGTA, DEVGARH, NORTH INDIA, CIRCA 1760-1800
Opaque pigments heightened with gold on paper, the groom holding the bridle of a richly adorned and saddled horse, in thin yellow and black margins, in black rules, in red borders, attributed to Bagta on reverse
9 3/8 x 12in. (24 x 30.5cm.)
Provenance
Acquired at The Arcade Gallery, London, probably in 1978

Lot Essay

The reverse of this painting bears an inscription attributing it to the master painter Bagta, also spelled "Bakhta" (active 1761-1814). Bagta trained in the royal court of the Mewar Rajput Maharana Ari Singh, but found true artistic liberation after departing Udaipur for Devgarh (also ‘Deogarh’) in the late 1760's. There he received new patronage from the Rawats of the Devgarh thikana. Bagta's characteristic bold use of colour coupled with a refined execution of detail are visible in this painting.

In Devgarh Bagta developed the skill to capture idiosyncratic traits of appearance and character, with expressions that are often skilfully observed as seen on the groom here, who is unusually depicted in three-quarter profile (Milo Cleveland Beach and Rawat Nahar Singh II, Rajasthani Painters: Bagta and Chokha, Germany and Austria, 2007, p.21). A figure similarly depicted can be found leading a dog in the lower right hand corner of a painting of Durbar of Jaswant Singh with Kunvar Ragho Das, attributed to Bagta circa 1776, in the Harvard Art Museum (Milo C. Beach, Eberhard Fischer and B.N. Goswamy (eds.), Masters of Indian Painting II, 1650-1900, Zurich and New York, 2011, fig.11, p.745). The horse that the groom leads in our painting bears close resemblance to others painted by the artist. See for example a painting of Rawat Gokul Das hunting with a falcon, signed Bagta and dated 1793, in the Rietberg Museum in Zurich (published by Beach, Fischer and Goswamy (eds.), op.cit., 2011, fig.5, p.739). For a detailed discussion of the artist and his son, see Beach and Singh, op.cit., 2007.

A few works by Bagta have sold at auction. See for example Bonham’s, New York, 19 March 2012, lot 1211 or Sotheby’s, New York, 14 November 2002, lot 34.

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