- B. N. Goswamy
Indian painter. Often associated with the court of Kangra and its most famous ruler, Maharaja Sansar Chand (reg 1775–1823), he seems to have shifted his family’s residence from Kangra to the tiny village of Samloti when the Maharaja was forced to surrender the town and fort of Kangra to the Sikhs in 1809. Purkhu’s father, Dhummun, also a professional painter, had worked for Sansar Chand’s father and grandfather. Records of the period describe the family as belonging to the professional painter caste (chitrera) of Guleria, suggesting that at some earlier time they had come from Guler. Purkhu’s work includes portraits, court scenes and processionals, all connected with Sansar Chand and his son Aniruddha Chand. Purkhu’s output seems to have been prodigious: extensive series of paintings, including a Śiva purāṇa series (Chandigarh, Govt Mus. & A.G.), a Harivamsa series (dispersed), a Parijat-Harana series (New Delhi, N. Mus.) and a ...