Balwant Singh in a Tent at Nagrota
This painting by the artist Nainsukh, was done under the patronage of Balwant Singh.It offers interesting material for the study of the transformation of the rustic vibrancy of the early Pahari style to the sophisticated and lyrical style of Guler and Kangra painting.
The painting shows Balwant Singh at his base camp at Nagrota. He is resting in a temporary shelter after a march. A green shawl and a blanket wrapped around him and a small fire altar in front indicate the cold weather.The raja smokes a huqqa while a musician plays a stringed instrument which looks like a local version of the rabab. On his left an attendant stands with folded hands.All three have grim expressions.
Nainsukh was a master of line and his figures come alive, in full flesh, with just a few deftly drawn lines. He introduces dimension to flat figures by a slight shading along the borders that separate the figures from the background or from other figures. This shading can also be seen around the neck, below the chin and around the collars of the jamas. Minute details along with accurate depiction of posture create a convincing naturalism essential for portraiture which Nainsukh extensively explored under the patronage of Raja Balwant Singh. Out of the 65 paintings that have been ascribed to Nainsukh so far, the museum houses 17, making it the single largest collection of Balwant Singh’s paintings by Nainsukh.
Karl and Meherbai Khandalavala Collection.
Indian Miniature Paintings
Attributed to artist Nainsukh
Opaque watercolour on paper
21 x 30.9 cms