Indian and Himalayan Art
Maharao Kishor Singh of Kota Performs the Lamp-Waving Ceremony of Brijrajji the Night before Krishna's BirthdayMade in Kota, Rajasthan, India, Asia
Artist/maker unknown, India
Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver or tin on paper
Currently not on view
1968-12-4Gift of the Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1968
LabelThis painting is one of a series that probably totaled more than thirty works, each showing in careful detail the king of the city of Kota, Maharao Kishor Singh (ruled 1819-27), performing in one of the yearly festivals held for his personal deity, Brijrajji. A form of the god Krishna, Brijrajji is closely associated with Brijnathji, who is another incarnation of Krishna and considered the protective deity of Kota. Here Brijrajji is envisioned as a small metal statue adorned with sumptuous pearl regalia. The king, shown as the god's attendant, wears the simple garment and shaven head of a Brahman priest, retaining only his pearl necklaces and bangles as indicators of his royal rank. In his hands he holds a tray with a fire that he waves before the god in a circular movement, one of the principal Hindu rites of devotion called arati.