Balwant Singh shooting a bustard

circa 1750 - 1755 CE

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS)

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS)

The irony of the situation, of a tiny innocent bustard being treacherously shot by a prince hiding behind a bull, is cleverly brought out by the artist. The thick shaded line of the muscle of the bull gradually thins down and naturally merges with the body giving a robust look to the figure of the bull. The artist has captured a moment of absolute silence and the stillness of a predator before leaping on the prey. The composition of the painting skillfully highlights the bird by crowding two human figures and the bull, leaving the small bird singled out in the blank space. The scene is laid against a farm and like most other portrait paintings of Nainsukh is devoid of any decorative elements such as trees or architecture. Though the depiction of hunting is not uncommon, this particular theme is very rarely illustrated in miniature painting.

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  • Title: Balwant Singh shooting a bustard
  • Date Created: circa 1750 - 1755 CE
  • Physical Dimensions: 30 x 19 cms
  • Medium: Lightly tinted drawing
  • Region: Jammu
  • Accession Number: 33.104