Maharana Swarup Singh

Maharana Swarup Singh (1815, r.1842-1861) receiving
Raja Balwant Singh of Ratlam

Attributed to Shivalal, Mewar court artist
circa 1850 CE

Gouache on paper
9.6 x 7.5 in. (24.4 x 19 cm.)

Back: “Raja Balwant Singh ji Ratlam”

Maharana Swarup Singh is shown receiving elderly Raja Balwant Singh of Ratlam in his court. Both were indirectly related as Maharaja Balwant Singh of Ratlam was married to daughter of Maharaja Sheodan Singh of Bagore (one of the four main branches from which Mewar royal family preferred for adopting children).

Swarup Singh is shown making vitarka mudra (preaching or discussion gesture) while Balwant Singh, though much older in age, is seated on the floor, greeting him with namaste mudra. An attendant stands behind Swarup Singh’s chair and is holding a morchal (peacock feather fan) and a sheathed sword.

This work is attributed to artist following the style of Shivalal, son of master artist Tara. Unlike other portraits of Swarup Singh, this has a white-yet bright background. Blue and whites of the floral carpet teams with shaded blue strokes of skyline.