Maharana Jagat Singh (1709, r.1734-1751) of Mewar
in his harem
by Mewar court artist
circa 1730 CE
Gouache on paper
9.5 x 7.3 in. (24.1 x 18.5 cm.)
Paintings of harem or zenana (ladies section) were an integral part of the royal painting collections and were possibly meant for personal viewing.
An early eighteenth century portrait of Maharana Jagat Singh surrounded by a number of ladies serving him in the outdoors is remarkable for its unusual composition. Jagat Singh is depicted as a tall and bulky figure with full beard and a golden nimbus. All the petite ladies surrounding him are serving him by either holding his hookah pot, fan, nisan, morchal or are presenting him flowers. All of them are shown standing on a floral carpet and all the bright coloured outfits are juxtaposed with a dull malachite tone of the background. If one looks closely at the faces of the female attendants one can see a strong Bundi atelier influence in it. It is possible that this painting could have been done by an artist from the Bundi atelier.