GREAT PERFECTED BEINGS Jackie Menzies – TAASA Review December 2009


This article was originally found in the December 2009 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 18, Issue 4, Page 13).

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T he absorbing paintings in the impressive Indian art exhibition Garden & Cosmos, currently showing at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, were recently rediscovered in the ancestral collection of the powerful Rathore clan whose current maharaja still lives in the royal palace in Jodhpur.

The Rathores ruled the desert kingdom of Marwar in Rajasthan from the 13th century to Indian independence in 1947, with a crucial point in their history occurring in 1564 when their acceptance of Mughal sovereignty elevated them from local authorities to great kings (maharajas).

A unique Marwar court culture, reflecting the merging of indigenous Rajput traditions with those of the Mughals, emerged across the fields of literature, music and painting...