Indian and Himalayan Art
Men with FireworksMade in Udaipur, Rajasthan, Mewar, India, Asia
Artist/maker unknown, India
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Currently not on view
2004-149-58125th Anniversary Acquisition. Alvin O. Bellak Collection, 2004
LabelMen dressed as laborers race about a dark ground, swirling wands of gold-sparking fireworks to create a dazzling pattern. In India, fireworks are most popularly set off during Diwali, the festival of lights that celebrates the end of the rainy season and honors Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. In the eighteenth century, fireworks were also used to control temperamental elephants. Whatever the subject, the small square shape of this painting is unusual; it was most likely cut from a larger composition.