Maharaja Rao Shekha of Shekhawati

Maharaja Rao Shekha (1433, r.1445-1488)
founder of Shekhawati region

by Shekhawati artist
circa 1860 CE

Tempera on wall
20 x 14.8 in. (50.8 x 37.8 cm.)

Rao Shekha hailed from the Kuchhwaha clan of Dhundhar region. He succeeded his father Rao Mokal at a young age of twelve in 1445 CE and displayed unparalleled bravery since his formative years. He founded the kingdom Shekhawati (named after him) with its capital at Amasar which was populated and ruled by his successive generations.

Shekhawati region is popular for its painted Havelis and a number of tourists and researchers come to admire and study the incredible art deco on the walls.

This portrait is a fragment of wall painting, done around mid-nineteenth century. This mural has a smoothness, and mixing of colours gives it the appeal of a fresco. Shades of red, orange, brown and off-white are neutralized with grey background. Conceived image of this great warrior has all the Rajputana characteristics with a bulky face, long drooping moustache, extended whiskers, bejewelled pearl jewelry and he carries a bow, a quiver and a shield.