Maharaja Shivdan Singhji (c.1845, r.1857-1874) of Alwar
by Alwar court artist
circa 1870 CE
Watercolour on paper
12.3 x 8.1 in. (31.2 x 20.6 cm.)
Front: “Maharaja Sawai Shivdan Sinhji Alwar”
Versions of photographs of Rao Raja Shivdan Singh of Alwar were printed in multiple copies and were referenced by a number of painters also. This portrait is done on a thin machine made paper (as opposed to traditional handmade paper, varak or vasli) with a mixture of mineral pigments and readily available bright photo-colours.
Shivdan Singh is best known for construction of Company garden in the chhatari of Alwar Palace.
This portrait teams with the series of indoor studio portraits which invariably formed a unified style across the Rajputana, a few of these can be cited elsewhere in this catalogue. He is seated at an ease with his right hand resting on a round table with European art deco in surrounding, dressed in his wedding finery and is decked with gem encrusted pearl jewelry. The portrait is completed with an inscription written at the top in Devanagari script.