Raja Jagat Singh of Kota

Historical period(s)
ca. 1670-1675
Kota school
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
H x W (overall): 22.9 × 14.3 cm (9 × 5 5/8 in)
India, Rajasthan state, Kota
Credit Line
Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection — funds provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


India, man, portrait, raja, Ralph and Catherine Benkaim collection

To 1967
Ragni Kant, Jaipur [1]

From 1967 to 2001
Ralph Benkaim (1914-2001), purchased from Ragni Kant, Jaipur in December 1967 [2]

From 2001 to 2018
Catherine Glynn Benkaim, Beverly Hills, California, by inheritance from Ralph Benkaim in 2001

From 2018
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, partial gift and purchase from Catherine Glynn Benkaim

[1] Ralph Benkaim purchased the painting in Jaipur in December, 1967 several years before Indian paintings were classified as antiquities by the Indian government, according to his personal records, as relayed by Catherine Glynn Benkaim.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Ragni Kant
Ralph (1914-2001) and Catherine Benkaim
Catherine Glynn Benkaim


Inscription in nagari script on verso: si jagat singhji


Rao Jagat Singh is represented in the fashion of Mughal portraiture standing in profile against a pale green ground. Shown with his characteristically slim-waisted body, dark complexion, droopy mustache and pensive expression, Jagat Singh wears a resplendent gold brocade coat with fur collar over a woven jama of orange, purple and gold; a mound of white flowers tops his turban. The ruler is haloed and holds flowers in each hand.

Rao Jagat Singh (born 1644, reigned 1658-83) was the third rao of Kota. In July of 1658, when he was about fourteen, he was confirmed by Aurangzeb and given a rank of fifteen hundred/one thousand, the title of rao and other honors. He spend much of his career in the Deccan and died in battle in October 1863.

The portrait demonstrates a stage in the development of Rajput portraiture. Rajputs adopted the genre of portraiture from the Mughal court, where they represented as courtiers. Here, Jagat Singh is represented by a Bikaner artist with a radiant nimbus and holding flowers in each hand, both are imperial motifs that appear in portraits of Shah Jahan.

Published References
  • Molly Emma Aitken. The Intelligence of Tradition in Rajput Court Painting. New Haven. fig. 3.4.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. Rajput Painting in Bundi and Kota. p. 31, fig 3.4.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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