Maharana Jagat Singh of Mewar

Maharana Jagat Singh (1709, r.1734-1751) of Mewar

by Nande (Nanda?), Mewar court artist
dated 1736 CE

Gouache on mica and paper (cutout)
13 x 9.1 in. (33 x 23.1 cm.)

Back: “Shri Ramji Samvat 1792 Saoj vid 10, Shriji re janam avasar daan
panaa nijar huo chitare Nande kido, Maharana Shri Jagat Singhji”

On a refreshing note, this portrait presents a variation in its technique – a cut-out of Maharana’s profile set on a small mica plate. Using mica must have been an experiment to depict glass of a window against a golden framed jharokha outlined with cusped arches. Change in material must have affected the usual practice of applying pigments, but the artist has very skillfully handled the brush while applying multiple coats of paint on a rather shrivelling mica surface. Artist’s ingenious is marked in neatly cutting and pasting of the portrait against the thin and fragile mica plate and adding a maroon cushion behind the portrait.

On the basis of style and workmanship, this portrait represents quality work done in Jagat Singh’s reign. He is shown seated in a jharokha, holding the edge with his right hand while his left hand rose up in the gesture of holding a flower or an aigrette (which the artist possibly missed while compiling the collage). Plain green and red borders around the small portrait works as an additional matt and highlights the finesse of the portrait.