Thakur Laxman Singhji (d. 1930) of Sardargarh
by Nandram Manawat of Devgarh
dated 1899 CE
Gouache on paper
16.1 x 12 in. (40.9 x 30.5 cm.)
Front: “Shri Thakur Sahab Shri Laxman Shingh ji, Sardargarh”
“Chatara Nandram Manawat Devgarh”
“Umar 30 saal samat 1956 ka fagan sud 11 banai”
Done in the popular indoor studio style of portraits, this portrait is a classic example of a new photo-realistic idiom which developed in almost all the court ateliers simultaneously post mid nineteenth century. A number of portraits in similar set up and rendering can be seen even within the collection.
Not much is known about the life and deeds of the 19th Thakur of Sardargarh, Laxman Singh. He hailed from the family of Raja Phul Singh Dodiya of Girnar. Dodiya’s were given a jagir name ‘Lawa’ by Rana Lakha which later on became Sardargarh (after construction of a splendid fort by Thakur Sardar Singh) and remained a close thikana of Mewar. Thakur Sardar Singh was appointed as the supervisor for the construction of Jag Niwas, popularly known as the Lake Palace in Udaipur.
This inscribed portrait informs about the artist Nandram Manawat from Devgarh. Age of Laxman Singh is inscribed as to be of thirty years in samvat 1956, or 1899 CE when this portrait was done. Lean, tall and dark complexioned Thakur has a gentle demeanour.