Detail of a scroll showing a religious procession

Detail of a scroll showing a religious procession

Gouache on paper
Thanjavur (Tanjore), India
About 1825-1830
Museum no. IS.45-1963

This detail of a scroll painting shows Krishnaraja Wadiyar, Raja of Mysore (ruled 1799-1868) on an elephant leading a religious procession in honour of the god Shiva. (He was formerly misidentified as Raja Sarabhoji of Tanjore (1777-1832).) British military commanders are also shown.
Krishnaraja Wadiyar is preceded by dancing-girls, musicians, chauri- bearers and men carrying illuminations and letting of fireworks. He is followed by the British Resident and two Indian military commanders on horseback, elephants with kettledrums, horsemen and a great crowd with illuminations. There is a wooden platform bearing an image of Shiva on a prancing horse under a canopy, followed by a crowd with dancing-girls and musicians. Four temple cars are dragged by ropes bearing images of Durga on a lion, Shiva on Nandi, Shiva on an elephant and Shiva on a horse. Dancing girls and men with fireworks may also be seen. Shiva is carried in an elaborate gold and red carved car drawn by four small red horses.

The pictures made by Indian artists for the British in India are called Company paintings. This is part of a long scroll-painting in Company style.