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Maharaja Gaj Singh of Bikaner

December 31, 1795
Isai Abure
Shah Alam II 1759–1806

Maharaja Gaj Singh of Bikaner



Gouache on paper (with embedded beetle wings) 12.2 x 7.9 in. (31 x 20.1 cm.) Back: “Sabih 1 Shri Maharaj Shri Gaj Singh ji ri Kaam uste Isai Abure ro najar mujro maatam posi ro samat 1853 magsar vadi ” (on a wet stamp) “This painting belongs to the personal collection of H H Maharaja Bikaner” Controlled line work, fine depiction and smoothness of colour palette suggests that this work was done by a master hand. Maharaja Gaj Singh’s bulky, royal personality is enhanced through an ultra-fine cotton jama, grey-golden waist cloth, an angavastram and a signature Bikaneri turban. Most distinguished feature of the portrait is the use of blue coloured beetle wings which are neatly encrusted in the sheath and hilt of his sword and on his sarpech. Two large pearls in his earring take a dramatic swing and are contrasted against his extended whiskers. His fine large nimbus is placed off-centre (appears to have shifted down). Standing on a terrace, Gaj Singh’s stout silhouette is neatly set against an olive green background.


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Ismail Mazari

average rating is null out of 5

Very good information.


The Mughal Images immediately took a much greater interest in realistic portraiture than was typical of Persian miniatures. Animals and plants were the main subject of many miniatures for albums and were more realistically depicted. To upload your images click here.

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