Maharana Sangram Singh of Mewar, His Two Sons, and Courtiers
Artist/maker unknown, India
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This painting is one of four made for the rulers (called Maharanas) of the powerful Rajput kingdom of Mewar. Together these works illustrate an amazing, multigenerational tale of courtly intrigue, betrayal, and revenge. Here Maharana Sangram Singh (ruled 1710-34) walks with his sons and courtiers through the palace in Udaipur, Mewar's capital city. Although their faces are impassive and each figure is formally posed in profile, the artist has added little touches that suggest the intimacy of family relations and at the same time reinforce the hierarchy of royal roles. The gold-haloed Maharana, for example, holds the hand of his small heir, the boy who would become Maharana Jagat Singh II. The rearmost man in green is the courtier Baba Bharath Singh. He holds the hand of another of the king's younger sons, probably Nathji.