Swami Devakinandan with Raja Sujan Singh of Bikaner and Prince Zoravar Singh
Artist/maker unknown, Indian
Kings often made pilgrimages to see swamis (holy men) to gain spiritual knowledge and receive the great honor of associating with these venerable individuals. In this exquisite painting, however, the palatial terrace covered in a sumptuously embroidered floorspread indicates that Swami Devakinandan has come to visit the raja (king) of Bikaner and his young son at the royal court. As a mark of his revered status, the swami is shown seated on a sumptuous pile carpet whose design recalls the luxurious and highly prized lattice-and-flower pashmina (cashmere wool) rugs made for the Mughal court during the mid-seventeenth century.