Opaque Pigment on paper
Inscribed on the reverse in Takri ‘Jaswal Raja Sri Jagrup Singh ji’
Private European Collection
Formerly in the Collection of Raja Bhawani Shah (1859 -1871), 2ndRaja of Tehri Garhwal.
Raja Jagrup Singh (identified by inscription on the reverse) is portrayed seated on a summer carpet surrounded by pale pink cushions, smoking a hookah. The Raja is dressed in an elegant green striped jama, lined with burgundy, which is tied at the waist with a plain white patka. The Raja is depicted with a full, yet neatly trimmed beard, an aquiline nose and piercing eyes. He wears a striking white turban, which is interwoven with a band of saffron. He is seated outdoors on a terrace, which is indicated by the pale pink sandstone balustrade, capped with globular finials, that runs behind him across the centre of the painting. The background is largely bare, with the exception of the faintest hint of blue in the uppermost portion of the sky. In an unusual element for a royal portrait of the period, the ruler is unadorned by jewellery, nor is he surrounded by his accoutrements that would normally identify his royal status.
In pre-colonial India, Jaswan was a princely state in Himachal Pradesh, centred around the town of Rajpura. Jaswan was a small principality of Kangra, according to Hutchison and Vogel Jagrup Singh was raja from c. 1770 – which is the dating also followed by Archer.