Maharao Kishor Singh of Kota Performs the Lamp-Waving Ceremony of Brijrajji the Night before Krishna's Birthday
Artist/maker unknown, India
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This painting is from a series that portrays 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. Here Brijrajji is envisioned as a small, metal statue adorned with sumptuous pearl regalia and seated in a palace‑like altar. 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. Ornaments and clothing, therefore, indicate that while both are royal, the god is the true ruler and the king his attendant.