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Identification and Creation
Object Number
Rao Raja Bhoj Singh of Bundi Batters a Leaping Tiger from a Tree
Work Type
17th century
Creation Place: South Asia, India, Rajasthan, Bundi
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
20 x 25.5 cm (7 7/8 x 10 1/16 in.)
Stuart Cary Welch (by 1969 - 2008,) by descent; to his estate (2008-2009,) gift; to Harvard Art Museum.

Object was part of temporary loan to Museum in 1969.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Stuart Cary Welch Collection, Gift of Edith I. Welch in memory of Stuart Cary Welch
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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This painting depicts a popular mode of hunting in Rajasthan, one that conferred every advantage to the hunter. A calf, goat, or sheep is tied to the base of a tree as bait – its cries luring predatory game. The hunter, in this case Rao Raja Bhoj Singh of Bundi, positioned on a small platform in the tree, then waits for the opportune moment to use his matchlock. As seen here, however, the strategy still carried great risk. The large tiger has killed the small calf, has been shot in the haunch, and now is seeking revenge. It leaps into the tree as the Bhoj Singh batters it in the head with the butt of his matchlock. The hunter’s attendant embodies the panic and desperation of the situation, as he frantically scrambles up the tree, his turban unraveling in the process.
Publication History

Stuart Cary Welch and Milo Cleveland Beach, Gods, Thrones, and Peacocks Northern Indian Painting from Two Traditions, exh. cat., Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1965), p. 62, fig.11

Milo Cleveland Beach, Rajput Painting at Bundi and Kotah, Artibus Asiae Publishers (Ascona, Switzerland, 1974), p. 10; pl. XI, fig. 8

Stuart Cary Welch, Gods, Kings, and Tigers: The Art of Kotah, exh. cat., ed. Stuart Cary Welch, Prestel (New York, NY, 1997), p. 26, fig. 16

Milo Cleveland Beach, Eberhard Fischer, and B.N. Goswamy, ed., Masters of Indian Painting, exh. cat., Artibus Asiae Publishers (Zürich, 2011), p. 292, no. 10; p. 299, fig. 10

Exhibition History

India: From Tribe to Court, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 07/23/1981 - 07/23/1981

Indian Paintings from a Private Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 10/13/1983 - 12/11/1983

The Sport of Kings: Art of the Hunt in Iran and India, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/22/2005 - 06/26/2005

Masters of Indian Painting, Museum Rietberg Zürich, Zurich, 04/30/2011 - 08/21/2011; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 09/26/2011 - 01/08/2012

32Q: 2590 South and Southeast Asia, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/07/2018 - 04/17/2019

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at