A portrait of Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I of Jaipur  Attributed to Ramji Das, Jaipur, circa 1760
Lot 138
A portrait of Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I of Jaipur
Attributed to Ramji Das, Jaipur, circa 1760
US$ 15,000 - 20,000
£ 12,000 - 16,000

Lot Details
A portrait of Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I of Jaipur  Attributed to Ramji Das, Jaipur, circa 1760
A portrait of Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I of Jaipur
Attributed to Ramji Das, Jaipur, circa 1760
Opaque watercolor heightened with gold and silver on paper; seated beneath a canopy on a gold and silver throne raised on matching lion supports, wearing a white jama with gold embroidered upper section and a matching belt, his mauve pagri is embellished with a sarpech and various other jewels, and complements a multi-strand pearl & gold bead necklace, with an attendant holding a morchal behind him, the Maharaja presents a pearl ornament to a young prince.
Folio: 11 x 8 3/4 in (28 x 22.3 cm)

Footnotes

  • Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I (r. 1750-68) was the younger son of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and ascended the throne in 1750 after the death of his elder brother, Ishwari Singh. He freed the Kachhawaha Kingdom from the Marathas, won several important battles, and formed an important alliance with the Mughal court.

    In discussion of another portrait of Madho Singh I, Stuart Cary Welch notes in India, Art and Culture 1300-1900, New York 1985, p. 379,
    The artist composed this unusually intimate view of royalty at rest in the white-on-whites of marble, china (polished lime), and muslin, relieved by brightly colored, richly patterned stuffs, gold, and jewels. Seeing him thus at ease, one might not realize that Maharaja Madho Singh was an active, effective ruler, admired as a patron of science and learning. Had not dysentery cut short his reign after seventeen years, Madho Singh might have resolved the chief problem of the Jat rulers of Bharatpur and prevented the splitting-off from Jaipur of Alwar.

    Compare with a very closely related portrait attributed to Ramji in the National Gallery of Victoria, where the Maharaja is seated on the same 'lion throne', with the addition of arm rests (see Topsfield, Paintings From Rajasthan, Victoria, 1980, no. 28, p. 42). A standing portrait in the same collection, suggested to be in the style of Bakhta, shows the ruler with the same stippled treatment of his facial features (ibid., p. 127, no. 183).

    Another standing portrait showing the ruler with a very similar ornamented turban and short sideburns was sold at Sotheby's, New York, 6 October 1990, lot 94. For a portrait signed by Ramji Das, formerly in the Collection of Sangram Singh of Nawalgarh, see Beach & Nahar Singh, Bagta and Chokha, Zurich, 2005, p. 18, fig. 14. Also see Sharma, Indian Miniature Painting, Brussels, 1974, cat. 56, pl. 585. Two other portraits are in the Fine Arts Museum, Boston (15.84 and 17.2938), and an equestrian portrait of the ruler with similar attendants is in the Freer-Sackler Galleries (F2001.5), signed Sahiba Ram.

    Provenance:
    Private Californian Collection
    Sotheby's, New York, 21 March 1990, lot 169
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