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Kedar Ragini from the Chunar Ragamala
1591

Shaykh Hatim , (Indian,
Hara dynasty
Reign of Rao Raja Bhoj Singh

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
H: 20.5 W: 11.0 cm
Chunar, India

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The Chunar Ragamala is of great importance to understanding the relationship of Mughal to Rajput painting. Its three artists, Shaykh Husain, Shayh'Ali, and Shaykh Hatim, were trained in the Imperial Mughal court. They produced this Ragamala series for Rao Raja Bhoj Singh (r. 1585–1607) at his estate at Chunar (Uttar Pradesh). The series was later brought to the Rao Raja's kingdom of Bundi (Rajasthan); it became the compositional model for ragamalas produced there over the next 200 years. Images of Kedar Raga depict an ascetic in meditation. The unique feature of Kedar ragini in the Chunar set and other Bundi ragamalas is the Muslim darvish visiting a meditating yogini (female ascetic).