Sir Sayajirao Gaekwad III, (1863, r. 1875-1939) Maharaja of Baroda, G.C.S.I, G.C.I.E.
by M. V. Dhurandhar (1867-1944)
Oil on canvas
19.5 x 15 in. (49.5 x 39 cm.)
Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, was born at Kavlana in 1863, as Shrimant Gopalrao Gaekwad, he was selected by the British Government as successor to Maharaja Malharrao Gaekwad in May 1875 and was accordingly adopted by Maharani Jamnabai. He was also given name, Sayajirao. He ascended the gadi or throne at Baroda on 16 June 1875, but being a minor, he reigned under a Council of Regency until he came of age and was invested with full ruling powers on 28 December 1881.
M. V. Dhurandhar was adept in oils, watercolours, pencil drawings and nearly 5000 works have been credited to him, excluding drawings and sketches. He was the most popular painter of Western India after Raja Ravi Varma. An excellent illustrator, skilled portrait painter, and exceptional talent in figurative paintings. Light, in this portrait is peculiar and perceived as ‘flat’. The transparency of colour is amplified in the face. This is probably the last portrait of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III done during his life.