Posthumous Portrait of Raja Man Singh, Kacchwaha rule of Amber

  • Creator: Artist unknown
  • Year:
  • Location: India

Raja Man Singh (1550–1614) was the Rajput Raja (ruler) of Amber, a state later known as Jaipur. He was considered one of the nine gems (ratna) of Mughal Emperor Akbar’s royal court. Man Singh was greatly influenced by Akbar’s art patronage and he became one of India’s most supportive patrons of local artists, commissioning art to promote Mughal causes. A multitude of portraits were painted of him both during and after his lifetime. Here, Man Singh is shown as a commanding leader. His military might is such that it cannot be contained by the portrait’s confines: the horse seems about to charge out of the picture plane to the left, while his lance is about to pierce through the top border. The lyrical lines constituting the horse’s headgear and legs contrast with Man Singh’s stoic profile, alluding to his steadfast resolve. Placed against a simple, monochrome background, Man Singh’s greatness as a leader is eternal and universal.

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