www.IndianMiniaturePaintings.co.uk - Indian miniature painting: Sawai Madho Singh counting pearl and ruby japa mala beads. Jaipur, circa 1750. Opaque watercolour with gold on wasli. 16.3 x 10.5cm

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Sawai Madho Singh, maharaja of Jaipur 1751-68, counting pearl and ruby beads of a japa mala. Udaipur, circa 1750. Opaque watercolour with gold on wasli. 16.3 x 10.5cm

Produced at the royal painting workshop at Udaipur.  Another portrait from around the same time there of Madho Singh is illustrated in 'Paintings from Rajasthan in the National Gallery of Victoria', 1980, cat.183. In this Andrew Topsfield comments that Madho Singh was connected to Mewar by being the son of a Mewari princess. In the painting here the maharaja's moustache is considerably smaller indicating an earlier date than that in the NGV, whilst his lack of nimbus befitting a maharaja's portrait indicates possible production prior to succession..

The inscription's transliteration is raja madhavsingh bhangarh: the scribe must have got his history mixed up.  It is not as he thought Madho Singh the younger brother of Emperor Akbar’s General Man Singh I of Amber who founded Bhangarh in 1573 and installed this brother as ruler.

Thanks go to Tarun Pant for kindly providing transliteration

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Above: gilt detail reflecting light

Images and text © Peter Blohm