Maharaja Satrusal II of Kotah

Maharaja Satrusal II (1837, r.1866-1889) of Kotah

by Kotah court artist
circa 1870 CE

Gouache on paper (with mica and mirror embedded)
15 x 10.8 in. (38.1 x 27.4 cm.)

Front: “Shri Shri Shri Shri Shri Marajdhiraj Shri Maraval ji Shri Chhatarasal
ji tasabir Saalgar ki”

The last great patron of Kotah paintings, Maharao Satrusal II, had portrayed himself in a large number of paintings and as the inscription on painting goes, this particular portrait was made for one of his birthdays.

After his coronation, he was able to restore the seventeen gun salute which was earlier reduced to four by British government in his father Maharao Ram Singh II’s time due to Kotah’s inactive participation in the revolt of 1857-1858. Satrusal’s participation in the Durbar of the third viceroy in 1866 and in the Imperial Delhi Durbar of 1877 helped him develop a taste for foreign painterly traditions and the influenced king got them incorporated in his royal atelier.

Artists experimented with the materials and techniques in this embellished portrait by pasting mica and mirror pieces to enhance the effect of gem encrusted jewelry.