Portrait of a Raja, probably Raja Dhrub Dev of Jasrota

Historical period(s)
Opaque watercolor on paper
H x W (painting): 15.9 × 15 cm (6 1/4 × 5 15/16 in) H x W (overall): 20 × 15.6 cm (7 7/8 × 6 1/8 in)
India, Jammu and Kashmir, Jammu
Credit Line
Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection — funds provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


hookah, India, man, portrait, raja, Ralph and Catherine Benkaim collection, smoking

To 1872
Sir Thomas Phillips (1792-1872), U.K. [1]

Sale, London, Sotheby’s, Oriental Manuscripts, Indian and Persian Miniatures, November 27, 1974, lot. 785: “A Portrait of a Bearded Hill Raja.” [2]

Sale, South Kensington, London, Christie's, Islamic and Oriental Works of Art, April 13, 2000, lot no. 317: “Portrait of a Rajah.” [3]

From 2000 to 2018
Catherine Glynn Benkaim, Beverly Hills, California, purchased at auction, “Islamic and Oriental Works of Art,” Christie's, South Kensington, London, April 13, 2000, lot no. 317, “Portrait of a Rajah.” [4]

From 2018
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, partial gift and purchase from Catherine Glyn Benkaim. [5]


[1] See Sotheby’s, London auction catalogue, Oriental Manuscripts, Indian and Persian Miniatures, November 27, 1974.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See Christies, South Kensington, London auction catalogue, Islamic and Oriental Works of Art, April 13, 2000.

[4] See note 3.

[5] See Acquisition Justification Form, object file, Collections Management Office.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Christie's (London)
Sotheby's (London)
Ralph (1914-2001) and Catherine Benkaim
Sir Thomas Phillips English, 1792-1872
Catherine Glynn Benkaim


Portraits of Dhrub Dev with his distinctive high beaked nose were produced by painters from Mankot, Jasrota and Jammu. In the manner typical of Mankot, Jasrota, and Jammu portraiture in the early eighteenth century, the artist composed the image by combining plan views (carpet and tray) with frontal representations (figure, bolster, hookah). This painting is ascribed to Jammu because of the uncolored buff paper background and the colors, which are more subdued than those used at Mankot and Jasrota. The sober palette creates a dramatic, yet sensitive, image.

Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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