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Maharao Ram Singh II of Kota

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Kota, Rajasthan, India, Asia

c. 1840-1850

Transparent and opaque watercolor and ink on paper

Sheet: 15 × 10 1/4 inches (38.1 × 26 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Alvin O. Bellak Collection, 2004

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This type of head‑and‑shoulders portrait is unusual for Ram Singh II of Kota (ruled 1828–66), an obsessive chronicler who had different aspects of his reign memorialized in paintings. He is most often depicted as the hero of historic events that spotlight his daring and agility. This preserved preparatory sketch, however, shows only his distinctive snub-nosed face and trademark turban, and may have been done as a model for a more expansive and detailed wall painting. Ram Singh II designed this headdress for himself; it expresses the wealth and power befitting a king.