Chatur Singhji Bavji of Mewar
by Nathulal, Mewar court artist
circa 1880 CE
Gouache on paper
16 x 12 in. (40.6 x 30.5 cm.)
Front: “12 Kalam Nathulal Musavar ki 16”
तिलक करे छापा करे, भगमा भेष वणाय। चतुर सन्त री सादगी, सन्ता ऊपर जाय॥
(Holy men smear forehead / body and wear saffron clothing & remain
unmarried, but Chatur leads a domestic simple life and still attains higher
-Chatur Singhji Bavji in ‘Chatur Chintamani’
The saint poet Chatur Singhji Bavji (from Karjali branch) was a social reformer and endorsed education and awareness. A number of books are to his credit and his couplets and verses made a large impact on society for their simple and lucid language.
He was revered by the then Maharana, and his humble belongings are still preserved which gives a glimpse of his simple and modest lifestyle.
This is a rare portrait, projecting Chatur Singh seated in a lavish room but on a strange note has a number of well-bred pet dogs in foreground.