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Durga Das before Maharaja Ajit Singh of Marwar. Bikaner, early 19th century. Gouache and gold on wasli. 30 x 19.5cm

Durga Das Rathore (1638 - 1718) is said to have single-handedly preserved the rule of the Rathore dynasty over Marwar after the death of Maharaja Jaswant Singh in the 17th century. Ajit Singh was maharaja from 1679 - 1724. Durga Das' status was sufficient for him to be commemorated in this painting around 100 years after his death. That it was a product of Bikaner is due to the close ties existing between the kingdoms during the latter part of the 18th century bringing about in some paintings a synthesis of subjects and styles.

I would like to express my thanks to Shanane Davis for kindly translating the inscription on the upper border.

Ref: Bikaner-Jodhpur_Durga-Das&Ajit-Singh_28411

All images and text © Peter Blohm