Prince Bhupal Singh

Prince Bhupal Singh (1884, r. 1930-1955) and his teachers

attributed to Liladhar, Udaipur, Rajasthan
circa 1901

Opaque watercolour and gold on paper
12.5 x 9.25 in. (31.6 x 23.5 cm.)

Prince Bhupal Singh, born at Udaipur in 1884, was the son of Maharana Fateh Singhji. In 1900, when he was 15 years old, he contracted polio and was crippled for life. He nonetheless became a very capable ruler and an active hunter or shikari. He took a keen interest in art, had a refined aesthetic sense and was a connoisseur of painting.

The artist Liladhar was the son of Mohanlal and the grandson of Tara and nephew of master painter Shivalal. He had worked as an assistant to his uncle and father, and had continued Shivalal’s style in a somewhat brasher version. In this portrait Prince Bhupal Singh is seated on a chair, due to his paralysis a year back, along with his teachers. On his right is Purohit Akshaynath, who used to teach him Mewadi and Sanskrit. In front is Sikh Bhishansingh who taught sword fighting, horse riding, hunting and royal etiquette. On his left is his care taker or Dhabhai.