The Kachhawaha rulers of Amber (later Jaipur) enjoyed close ties with the Mughal family, through marriage and other alliances. Many adult male members of this Hindu Rajput dynasty also served at the more politically dominant Mughal court. This intimate proximity had quite visible consequences. For example, this extremely fine portrait of the teenaged Kachhawaha prince Ram Singh (d. 1688) employs the strict profile format and highly detailed manner associated with mid-seventeenth-century Mughal painting, even though it was executed by an artist working in Amber. Through artistic emulation of this kind, Rajput subjects sought to appear more like their overlords. Ram Singh’s elite status is also communicated through his luxurious silk jama (stitched coat) and patka (sash), gold sword hilt, and many pearls, emeralds, and rubies. As raja (king) of Amber, Ram Singh would serve under the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (r. 1658–1707), who appears in a painting on display nearby.
- Yael Rice, 2015
figures; nobility; portraits; swords
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