Rani Laxmi Bai warrior queen of Jhansi

Rani Laxmi Bai (1835-1858) warrior queen of Jhansi

by Jaipur court artist
circa 1880 CE

Gouache on paper
9.6 x 7.8 in. (24.4 x 19.8 cm.)

An imaginary portrait of a young Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi. She participated in the revolt of 1857 against East India Company. Rendered in a late style of Maharana Ram Singh II’s atelier when artists had started using the readily available ‘Lake colours’ which had bright hues.

Jhansi ki Rani is shown riding a galloping horse and is holding a javelin. Dressed in contemporary Jaipur courtly style: wearing an angarakhi with brocade work on it, chudidar pajama teamed with a Maratha turban. Her horse’s trappings include golden halras (necklaces) and a jalidar neck piece.

Background of this portrait is animated and is reduced in scale. The distant landscape has a range of mountains set against an orange horizon and bright blue sky, and the foreground shows a small water body with a few aquatic birds around it.