Lot 19
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Inscribed in Nagari 'Maharana Sri Sangram Singhji ki sabi ne puwarji ki...' on the reverse
Gouache on paper heightened with gold
Image: 9.75 x 6.25 in (25.2 x 16.2 cm)
Folio: 11.75 x 8.25 in (30.4 x 21.4 cm)


The Motichand Khajanchi Collection

Lots 1921 in this collection depict Maharana Sangram Singh of Udaipur (r. 1710 - 1734) engaged in various activities. The Maharana was known to have been a shrewd and competent ruler with virtues of rectitude, generosity and strict adherence to Rajput social behaviour. He is credited with additions to the Jagmandir, as well as the Chini Mahal inside the City Palace, where blue and white tiles imported by the Dutch from China were added to a courtyard. In 1711, he entertained a Dutch entourage, led by J J Ketelaar which led to a number of unusual portraits of firangi, or foreign, visitors. His atelier was characterised by the reinvigoration of the painting tradition. Artists broke away from illustrating manuscripts to portraying scenes from the court and the Maharana's personal life. "Sangram Singh's evident intention, as patron, was to build up a comprehensive documentary record of state occasions, seasonal festivals as well as the daily pastimes of the Rana in his ancestral domains." (Andrew Topsfield, Court Painting at Udaipur: Art Under the Patronage of the Maharanas of Mewar, Zurich: Artibus Asiae Publishers, 2001, p. 158)

In keeping with the later Mewar school tradition of depicting the ruler in leisure, this candid portrait shows Maharana Sangram Singh presenting a pearl necklace to a lady. Mughal influences can be seen in the formal, symmetrical garden with a central pond in the foreground. The stark green background, with birds aloft in the darkening sky, suggests dusk. In contrast, both the figures are richly bedecked with jewellery and fine clothing which is masterfully detailed. Sangram Singh's "...eye is narrow and the raja preferred a thin moustache giving prominence to the beard. His head gear is unusually tight-fitting to serve as a royal emblem." (Ratan Parimoo, NC Mehta Collection Volume II, Rajasthani, Central Indian, Pahari and Mughal Paintings, Ahmedabad: Gujarat Museum Society, 2013, p. 32) The Maharana's status is formalised by the halo surrounding his face, and the sword he holds. Even in a sensitive moment such as this, the symbols of power are a necessary part of the painting tradition with a formalised iconographic vocabulary.

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  Lot 19 of 81  

9 MARCH 2017

Rs 15,00,000 - 20,00,000
$22,730 - 30,305



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