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Maharana Ram Singh II of Kotah celebrating Dussera

August 31, 1840
Kotah Court
Bahadur Shah II 1837–1857

Maharana Ram Singh II of Kotah celebrating Dussera



Gouache on paper 9 x 7.2 in. (22.9 x 18.3 cm.) Maharao Ram Singh II, the 16th Maharao, of Kotah gathered a number of painters in his atelier and commissioned a large number and versions of paintings depicting his royal, courtly and personal life. Arrangements in this composition are made for shastra pujan (literally, worship of weapons) which is performed by almost all royal houses at the festival of Dussera. Rendered in a refined amalgamation of styles and with utmost precision, Ram Singh is depicted inside a marble chhatari and is served by two attendants. Ram Singh’s idealized profile is outlined with a confident thin line and appears to be done by a master hand and the bright yet sombre colours in the composition pertain to the Kotah aesthetics.

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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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