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From a nazar painting series of Marwar rulers: Rao Setram Ji. Bikaner, in the Jaipur* tradition, circa mid-late 19th century. Gouache on wasli. 36 x 22.8cm

*From the early 19th century many Jaipur artists moved to Bikaner

The reverse has an inscription identifying the portrait as being Rao Setram Ji who "came in my Marwar". The founder of Marwar was Rao Shihaji, also known as Shioji, (1212 – 1273); the two had left their homeland of Kannauj in 1212 with Setram Ji being killed in battle before his brother was able to found Marwar. Nazar paintings were presented by the painter personally to the maharaja on auspicious occasions such as religious festival days and often commemorated previous rulers.

I would like to express my thanks to Shanane Davis for kindly translating the inscription

All images and text © Peter Blohm