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UNKNOWN INDIAN ARTIST

MAHARANA JAGAT SINGH I OF UDAIPUR, CIRCA 1760-1765

About the Artwork

Jagat Singh I was the Maharana (Great King) of Mewar (r. 1628-1652). He was born in 1607 and ruled from the capital city of Udaipur, which was founded in 1568 shortly after the fall of Mewar’s first capital, Chitor, to the Mughal Emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605). The dynasty’s long struggle against the Mughals was ended by Jagat Singh I’s grandfather, Maharana Amar Singh (r. 1597-1620), who submitted to Mughal suzerainty in 1615. Due to the favorable terms of his capitulation, Mewar entered a period of relative peace and prosperity in which art and architecture were actively cultivated. Jagat Singh I maintained a close relationship with the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (r. 1628-1658), who had once sought refuge in Udaipur during the reign of Jagat Singh I’s father, Karan Singh II (r. 1620-1628). Portraiture and court scenes had been popular in Mewar since the latter half of the 17th century, but it was under Maharana Ari Singh II (r. 1761-73) that large portraits of Mewar’s previous rulers became popular. A devanagari inscription on the reverse identifies the subject as the senior Maharana Jagat Singh to differentiate it from the later ruler, Maharana Jagat Singh II (r. 1734-1751). Jagat Singh I holds a nosegay as a symbol of cultural refinement. He has a punch dagger (katar) tucked in his waist sash. His right hand grasps the grip of a “Firangi” (European) straight sword.

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