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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Attributed to Ustad Murad, Indian
Sujan Singh of Bikaner and Ladies Shooting Heron from a Terrace
Work Type
Creation Place: South Asia, India, Rajasthan, Bikaner
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Opaque watercolor, gold and metallic pigment on paper
31 x 22 cm (12 3/16 x 8 11/16 in.)
framed: 48.58 x 38.42 x 2.22 cm (19 1/8 x 15 1/8 x 7/8 in.)

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift in gratitude to John Coolidge, Gift of Leslie Cheek, Jr., Anonymous Fund in memory of Henry Berg, Louise Haskell Daly, Alpheus Hyatt, Richard Norton Memorial Funds and through the generosity of Albert H. Gordon and Emily Rauh Pulitzer; formerly in the collection of Stuart Cary Welch, Jr.
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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This painting depicts a young Sujan Singh (r. 1700-35) of Bikanier shooting herons from a palace terrace. He aims his matchlock gun at a group of heron circling in the sky. Behind him, a princess points to the group of birds, while a female attendant holds a fly whisk. On the left side of the composition, another female attendant picks up a slain heron. The figure behind her carries another matchlock gun. She may be a princess herself, as the attendant behind her holds a standard above her head, a symbol of imperial status. The painting may depict a friendly shooting competition between Sujan Singh and the princess. Female royalty also participated in hunting activities, as it was considered a demonstration of their grace, beauty, and intellect.

Publication History

  • Naveen Patnaik and Stuart Cary Welch, A Second Paradise: Indian Courtly Life, 1590-1947, Doubleday & Co. (Garden City, NY, 1985), page 92, 182/figure 28
  • Milo Cleveland Beach, Mughal and Rajput Painting, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, 1992), p. 191, fig. 143
  • Elizabeth Finch, ed., Rajasthani Miniatures: The Welch Collection from the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, exh. cat., The Drawing Center (New York, NY, 1997), page 28
  • James Cuno, ed., A Decade of Collecting: Recent Acquisitions by the Harvard University Art Museums, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, Mass., Spring 2000), pp. 37-38
  • Christopher Reed, "Art of the Hunt", Harvard Magazine, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, May-June 2005), vol. 107/no. 5, p. 46

Exhibition History

  • Indian Harvest: Part 1, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/30/1995 - 01/21/1996
  • Rajasthani Miniatures: The Welch Collection at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University, The Drawing Center, New York, 04/16/1997 - 06/07/1997
  • A Decade of Collecting: Recent Acquisitions of Islamic and Later Indian Art, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 06/08/2000 - 09/03/2000
  • The Sport of Kings: Art of the Hunt in Iran and India, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/22/2005 - 06/26/2005
  • Maharaja: The Splendour of India's Royal Courts, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 10/10/2009 - 01/17/2010

Verification Level

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at