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Group of Inebriated Ascetics, c. 1800

India: Rajasthan, Kishangarh Workshop, 1775-1825
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
image: 7-5/8 x 6-5/8 in. (19.4 x 16.8 cm); sheet: 8-3/4 x 7-5/8 in. (22.2 x 19.4 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Suneet and Alka Kapoor
© Norton Simon Museum

Not on view

Genre scenes, such as this group of inebriated male ascetics smoking hookah pipes, were popular subjects in Indian painting. Hindu holy men, or sadhus, were also known to imbibe an intoxicating drink made from a marijuana derivative, perhaps referenced here by the scattered cups and jugs. The turbans of the ascetics have loosened and begun to unravel, and most of the men appear to be asleep.

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