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Maharao Kishor Singh of Kota Performs the Lamp-Waving Ceremony of Brijnathji the Night before Krishna's Birthday

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Kota, Rajasthan, India, Asia

c. 1830-1840

Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver or tin on paper

Image: 8 9/16 × 6 3/8 inches (21.7 × 16.2 cm) Sheet: 10 3/16 × 7 3/4 inches (25.9 × 19.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of the Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1968

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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.