Rana Raj Singh I
Rana Raj Singh I, (1629, r. 1652-1680)
Maharaja of Mewar
Attributed to Manohar, Udaipur, Mewar
dated: 1688
Opaque watercolour and gold on paper
6 x 4.75 in. (15.2 x 12 cm.)

Maharana Raj Singh I born in 1629, succeeded the throne in 1652 but was not crowned till February 1653. He became the ruler of Mewar at a very critical juncture in its history. As soon as he ascended the throne, Shah Jahan sent the largest Mughal force that had ever ventured into Mewar. Raj Singh however soon had his revenge. Later when Aurangzeb rebelled against his father he sought Raj Singh’s support and offered to restore what Raj Singh had lost earlier. The Maharana spun out the negotiations till Aurangzeb had finally defeated his father. It was during his reign that the idol of Shri Nathji was brought to Mewar.

In the mid 17th century, Mewar paintings seemed to have undergone a transformation. With the widespread influence of the Mughal paintings, the traditional characteristics of Mewar paintings undergoes a change. Three dimensional perspective, the Mughal draftsmanship and delicacy of the brush come into vogue. Like the Mughal paintings, in this portrait you can see that the Rana is wearing a long pleated dress, the turban is narrow with the rear part of the turban drooping down to the neck, and has a long moustache.