A Mounted Marwari Bridegroom and Three Attendants
Artist/maker unknown, India
The attire of court noblemen and their attendants is often symbolic of family, clan, court, or religion. All four men depicted in this equestrian portrait wear turbans tied in a distinctive shape, identifying them as members of the Marwar court, a North Indian dynasty. Atop the horse sits a dignified nobleman, distinguished from his attendants by his abundant jewels. The long stick of flowers held in his right hand shows that he is a newly married man. He is probably on his way to the house of his wife’s family where, after feasting, the couple will playfully hit at each other with their flower kebabs, a ritual distinct to the region where this painting was made.