Maharaja Man Singh of Jodhpur

Maharaja Man Singh (1783, r.1803-1843) of Jodhpur

by Jodhpur court artist
circa 1840 CE

Gouache on paper
14.5 x 10 in. (36.8 x 25.4 cm.)

A neat and refined early nineteenth century Jodhpur style portrait painted during the reign of Maharaja Man Singh shows him in his royal self, standing inside a lavishly decorated marble pavilion lined with gold decorations.

Maharaja Man Singh faced a long jolty track before he could claim his birth right over Marwar. He accessed the gaddi by his perseverance and partially by blessings of mahasiddha or Nath Yogi.

He spent his early life in Jalore where he became an ardent follower of Nath yogis to whom he rendered his devotion for the rest of his life and also constructed three temples in their honour in Marwar. He endorsed religion, culture and especially art of painting and commissioned a number of important manuscripts of the period.

In this portrait, his regalia includes a billowing pink jama with tiny golden prints and broad gold border. All the aspects of this portrait including pavilion, carpet with finely rendered floral patterns, rolled up curtain, gem encrusted gold and pearl jewelry of the Maharaja, the aigrette and sword held in his hand reflect the fine taste as disposed by the ruler and as experienced and expressed by the artist.