Karen Taylor Fine Art

Agent, Advisor and Dealer in British Art

Company School late 19th Century

Portrait of an Indian ruler- probably Maharaja Jaswant Singh II of Marwar (Jodphur)

Company School


Gouache and touches of gold, with a painted border

24.5 x 20 cm

Sam Kenrick

Jaswant Singh (1838-1895) is seated in a classicised interior with a red curtain, a familiar feature of western portraiture.

The sitter who ruled from 1873-1895, was a traditionalist who wore the famous family emeralds, seen here around his neck, at home, and enjoyed hunting in his own jungles.

His reign was characterised by prosperity and judicial and administrative reforms. He developed the infrastructure of the state by introducing railways- the Jodphur State Railway- telegraphs and improving the roads.

His brother, Pratab Singh, travelled to London where he met the Queen and started a new trend in breeches for horseman to be known as jodhpurs, named after the capital of the state.

Upon Jaswant Singh’s death his favourite wife, Raiji, is said to have committed suttee, against imperial authority by the end of the 19th century. 

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