Maharaja Bakhat Singh

Maharaja Bakhat Singh (1706, r.1726-1752)
practicing archery

by Jodhpur court artist
circa 1750 CE

Gouache on paper
10 x 14.8 (25.4 x 37.6 cm.)

Front: “Maharajadhiraj Shri Bakhat Singhji”
Back: “Maharajadhiraj Shri Bakhat Singhji, Mharaj Rajeshwar Mharajadhiraj
Maharaja Shri Shri Bakhat Singhji ri sabih Bishak Sudi?“

Maharaja Bakhat Singh was granted Nagaur by his brother for conspiring against their father. Bakhat Singh had a derived taste for art and culture from his predecessors and he established a painting workshop in the newly found ‘Nagaur’.

Like other Jodhpur rulers, he commissioned a number of portraits and drawings documenting his luxurious lifestyle. This is one such composition, showing Bakhat Singh polishing his archery skills. Not many Marwar paintings are made on this theme, and the artist here got the patron’s seated posture correct with arch of his straightened back matching with the curve of the bow.