Bapji Shri Arup Das
by Nanuram of Kotah
circa 1820 CE
Gouache on paper
11.9 x 9.8 in. (30 x 24.9 cm.)
Front: “Soratho. Shri Guru Mor Swarup. Bhakti gyan ke roop Bhal. Yah Chabi
Das Anup Samat Unnise Chhat sud Balwant Singh krut svakar varna”;
“Mas eklauo ki no kaam likhyo chitra yah Nanuram”
Back: “Bapji Shri Arup Dasji chhabi ek hi hai ? Asad bikram sa.?41 Das Bhereva”
Though not much is known about the person in the portrait as yet, but the attributes and surrounding of the portrait suggests that Bapji Shri Arup Das must have been a scholar or a religious preacher. He must have carried varied interests as apparent from a number of manuscripts and books placed open in front of him and his veena (a stringed musical instrument) placed next to him while he smokes a hookah.
He has a dark complexioned stature and is dressed in fine cotton clothes and a loosely tied turban. It appears that more than one artist must have worked on this painting, and the background was possibly finished by an amateur hand. This portrait is ascribed to artist Nanuram, who must have worked in the last phase at Kotah atelier.
The Urdu text on one of the books placed in front of him reads:
“Hai shukra beshumaar usi ke makaar ka,
jo he qaraar shaje dil bekaraar ka”