Raja Vijay Bahadur Singh Ju Deo (r. 1782-1829)
Central India, probably Charkhari, 1800
Opaque pigments with gold on paper
Image: 30 x 23.5 cm
Folio: 32.5 x 26 cm
Inscription: (front) Top Left to Right
-Mirza Barikara (Standing in the window), -Ku. (Kuvar) Devi Sinh, -Shri Maharaj
Bije (Vijay) Bahadur Ju Dev, -Lala Mohan
Middle Left to Right: -Haathi Mathura Prasad, -Fojdar Karim, -Khawas Bardar
(Important Servant) Manika
Upon the death of Raja Jagatraj Singh, a descendant of Maharaja Chhatrasal, his territory in Bundelkhand was distributed between his son Raja Pahar Singh, who received Jaitpur, and his nephew, Raja Khuman Singh, who became the first Raja of Charkhari in 1765. Upon Khuman’s death his only son, Raja Vijay Bahadur Singh Ju Deo, the primary subject of this fine audience scene, succeeded him.
The style of our picture is similar to that which was practiced at Orchha and Datia and it is probable that the artist was trained in one of those centers of painting. The meeting takes place in a courtyard, with a small fountain, inhabited by fish and frogs, at its center. Vijay is shown seated against a bolster, holding a sheathed talwar, at the center of the composition. His turban and hair are both highly unique and his style appears to have been embraced by his courtiers. The names of each figure, including the elephant, are inscribed. Kuvar Devi Singh kneels before the Raja holding his hands together in obeisance.