Jivan Ram, merchant from Jaipur
Attributed to Ramjidas, Jaipur court artist
circa 1780 CE
Gouache on paper
5.5 x 3.7 in. (14 x 9.4 cm.)
Back: “Jivan Ram…”
Chatera or artist Ramjidas of Jaipur is known as the Indian court artist with largest number of ascribed and attributed paintings. He was contemporaneous to artist Sahibram at Jaipur court atelier. Besides a few large scale royal portraits, his body of work includes portraits of a range of people from different strata of society.
Dark complexioned Jivan Ram appears to be a gem merchant. He holds a small silver piece encrusted in gold border and has a tiny red coloured pouch and a small green packet placed in front of him, which affirms his vocation. His stern gaze shows his knowledge and authority on his possessions. He must have been a Vaishnavite, as is evident from his ‘U’ shaped tilak mark and his tulsi-mala.
In Ramjidas’s signature style, the figure is highlighted with realistic touches against uncoloured background. Facial details and balanced figure brings not just the likeliness, but also character of the subject.