Feb 26, 2014
Mar 20, 2014

Portrait of Maharaja Rai Singh of Bikaner (reigned 1574-1612)

Portrait of Maharaja Rai Singh of Bikaner (reigned 1574-1612)

c. 1590

Nur Muhammad

(Indian, active c. 1580–1630)

Ink and gum tempera on paper

Image: 20.5 x 14.6 cm (8 1/16 x 5 3/4 in.); Paper: 42.4 x 26 cm (16 11/16 x 10 1/4 in.)

Gift of Flora D. Glass and Elwood G. Glass, Jr. 1987.1100



Drawings such as this served as models for formal painted portraits of Mughal and Rajput royalty in court workshops.

The confident contour lines, delicate shading, and subtle facial expression are the work of the master artist Nur Muhammad (active 1570s–1630s), identified in a Persian inscription on the back. He came from a distinguished family of artists who settled in Bikaner by the mid-1500s. Nur Muhammad also worked at the Mughal court, notably for the mother of Emperor Akbar (reigned 1565–1605). His descendants continue to be recognized as the master artists of Bikaner up to the present day.

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