Diwan Bakhtawar Singh (1707-1779) of Bikaner
by Sahabdin of Bikaner
dated 1765 CE
Gouache on paper
9.8 x 5.7 in. (24.9 x 14.5 cm.)
Back: “Mohataa ji: Ravji Shri Vakhataav Singhji ri sabih Ustei Sahaabdin ri
kiwi chhe. Savat 1822 me kati vad 12”
Mohta Bakhtawar Singh was appointed as the chief minister or diwan of Bikaner four times and must have served at least three successive rulers including Maharaja Sujan Singh, Maharaja Jorawar Singh and Maharaja Gaj Singh of Bikaner.
In this portrait, he is shown standing on a terrace and appears to be an old learned man. He has white whiskers and moustache and his austere personality is enhanced by his white outfit and a simple rudkarsh mala around his neck. A pale green background adds to the overall appeal of the portrait. Bright red of the balustrade is subdued by whites and other sober tones in the composition.