Brush drawing on paper
Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
Museum no. IS.559-1952
Given by Colonel T G Gayer-Anderson & Major R G Gayer-Anderson
This very finely executed drawing shows Jaswant Singh I, the Maharaja (ruler) of Jodhpur, seated with a group of his relatives. Jaswant Singh was born in 1626, and ruled from 1638-78, and from his youthful appearance in this portrait we can date the work to around 1645. He is shown with a nimbus or halo of rays of light around his head to emphasise his status as ruler. This feature was borrowed from Mughal artists, who had taken it in turn from the West, although the convention had actually occurred much earlier in Buddhist paintings in India.
The high quality of the drawing in this work, and the detailed portraits of the sitters (most of whom bear a strong family resemblance to the Maharaja), suggest that it was done by an artist trained in the Mughal court style.