17

Sangram Singh presenting his son Jagat Singh with a sarpech, Mewar

Opaque pigment on paper heightened with gold

Image 18 x 23 cm. Circa 1720

Next to his imposing father, the infant Jagat Singh (b, 1709) raises his hands in a gesture of veneration and thanks as his father presents him with a sarpech. He wears a simple red jama and bunched turban. By contrast Sangram Singh is dressed in an opulent gold embroidered emerald green jama secured by a gold waistband. He holds a sword in his left had and presents the sarpech with his left hand. Three insects hover outside his spiked gold nimbus that add the only form of animation to the composition. The artist responsible for the portrait has devoted the focus of his talent to extraordinary detailing of the Rana’s face. A delicately modeled eye with curling eyelashes balances the strong profile, and a thin neatly trimmed beard with a wavy mustache. Further wispy curls escape from the flat turban at the back. The artist Jai Ram was responsible for a number of portraits of Sangram Singh and he showed the same sensitive treatment of the face. It is possible that his hand was responsible for the painting, however, the treatment of the turban, jewelry and textiles do not follow his style. Portraits of Sangram Singh with his infant children are numerous, especially in court settings and festivals. This intimate portrait is spared the standard surrounding of palaces; pavilions or even attendant figures and simply focuses on the act of the gift. Another portrait of the Rana with Jagat Singh worshipping at a shrine shows the infant at about the same age, possibly 6 or 7.