Although the subject of dervishes in assembly is not rare, the grotesque figures in the present painting are worth noticing. All Sufis are drawn with accented traits, especially the group shown in the background and the three figures to the right. It recalls a Rajput painting attributed to Mewar and dated circa 1760 which directly derives from a Flemish work illustrating the popular saying “the world feed many fools”. The painting sold at Christie’s New York, 20 March 2012, lot 221. Depictions of grotesques figures were popular in Europe and made their way to India where they were incorporated into the local imagery.
For another painting with similar theme, see lot 40.