Exhibition Overview

Beyond the City

In Indian art, visual representations of local geographies are rare. But between 1700 and 1900, Udaipur artists produced hundreds of ambitious paintings that depict the mountains, rivers, and lakes around the capital city.Painters devised endlessly novel solutions to convey the mood (bhava) of remarkable men enjoying a remarkable land. To capture the feel and appearance of the local landscapes, artists physically traversed and rigorously plotted terrains, combining strategies from North Indian mapmaking with observations of the natural world.

Maharana Jagat Singh II hunting tiger at Tikhliya Magra boldly plays with perception and immersion. Depicted from above and bristling with texture, it invites viewers to repeatedly search the jungle, peer through brush, and circle crags in order to find the tiger, mirroring the process of stalking prey. In counterpoint to the hypnotic patterning, water plays an orienting role: Lake Pichola’s spiky fingers mark the route that the party took to the hunting grounds.

Maharana Jagat Singh II hunting tiger at Tikhliya Magra
Pyara and Naga, son of Bhagwan, ca. 1735
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Image, 75.7 × 102 cm
The City Palace Museum, Udaipur, 2012.20.0011