Rajasthan, Mewar, Udaipur, attributed to the “Stipple Master” (active c. 1692-c. 1715)
About this artwork
Except for depictions of the monkey-god Hanuman, monkeys are rarely the subject of portraits in India. In this monumental portrait, therefore, we are looking not only at an unusual subject matter but also at a study of an extraordinary simian: one with human features complete with a beard, pale eyes, and long, slender hands. The inscription on the back of this work, written in Devanagari, states that the monkey is named Husaini and “comes from” Nawab Davad (or Daud) Khan. This name most likely refers to Daud Khan Panni, a powerful nobleman and a faujdar (a military commander and territorial administrator) who served the Mughal emperors from Aurangzeb (r. 1658–1707) through Farrukhsiyar (r. 1713–19), in various parts of India. The painting has been dated to 1705/10 and is attributed to the anonymous artist now called the Stipple Master. Working in tandem with his patron Maharana Amar Singh II of Mewar (r. 1698–1710), this artist was the initiator of a new painting style in Mewar in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. A group of about forty-six paintings, including the present work, has now been attributed to this artist-patron duo.