Rajput painting, also called Rajasthani painting, evolved and flourished in the royal courts of Rajputana in India. Each Rajputana kingdom evolved a distinct style, but with certain common features. Rajput paintings depict a number of themes, events of epics like the Ramayana. Miniatures in manuscripts or single sheets to be kept in albums were the preferred medium of Rajput painting, but many paintings were done on the walls of palaces, inner chambers of the forts, havelis, particularly, the havelis of Shekhawati, the forts and palaces built by Shekhawat Rajputs.
The colours were extracted from certain minerals, plant sources, conch shells, and were even derived by processing precious stones. Gold and silver were used. The preparation of desired colours was a lengthy process, sometimes taking 2 weeks. Brushes used were very fine.
The history of the production of books in Rajasthan can be traced from the XI century (more ancient artifacts are not preserved). In medieval India, there were two main pictorial traditions of book miniature – eastern and western. Eastern tradition developed during the reign of the Pala dynasty (800-1200) and was associated with the illustration of Buddhist texts. The Western tradition spread in the Gujarat and Rajasthan areas and was associated with Jain religious works. It developed from the 11th to the 16th century in spite of all the iconoclastic events of the Muslim conquerors. The first Jain books (XI-XII centuries) were made from palmleaves, and in this respect very similar to the early Buddhist books from eastern India. The earliest dated manuscript on the palm leaves, containing illustrations – Sravak-pratikramana sutra-churni Vijayasimhi, written by the Kamalchandra in Mevara, is kept in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and dates back to 1260.
From the fourteenth century, paper was used to make books; the earliest Jain paper illustrated book – Shvetambara’s “Kalakacharyakatha”, was created in 1366 in Yoginipur (Delhi). To this day, quite a lot of paper Jain books have reached, and literally several non-Jain texts. Among the Jainas, the most common were the “Kalpasutra” (The Book of Rituals) – the canonical text, which contains the biographies of the four most prominent gin, the rules of rituals and monastic relationships, and “Kalakacharyakatha” (History of the Master Kalaka); they were copied many times in the 15th century. Moreover, the customers of the copies were mostly not rulers, but merchants, for whom the order of a copy of the sacred text was considered a deed of charity. These books were copied not in court workshops, but by monks in temple libraries (Shastra bhandaras). Illustrations in the sacred Jain books were of a canonical nature, so they were practically not subject to artistic evolution. The main tones for miniatures were ultramarine (lapis lazurite), dark red pigment, silver and gold.
In the second half of the 15th – beginning of the 16th centuries, various texts were illustrated in the region of Delhi-Agra. First of all these were the epics of the Ramayana and the Bhagavad Gita, but also the Laur Chanda (Chandayana), a love poem written by Mulla Daoud for the chief minister Firoz Shah Tugluk in Delhi in 1377 or 1378, in which the beautiful maid Chanda falls in love with Laurika. Miniatures for this book, created around 1450-75 (Bharat Kala Bhavan, Hindu University, Varanasi), relying on the previous Jain tradition, developed it further, complicating the scenes with more detailed architectural scenes. This tendency is continued by the miniatures of the book “Mrigavata” – a tale of love, magic, fantasy and the supernatural written in 1503 by Sheikh Kutban for the ruler of the Sharki dynasty (about 1525, Bharat Kala Bhavan, Hindu University, Benares, Varanasi). Illustrations of several embroidered and sold-out versions of the Hindu epos Bhagavata Purana, created in the 1520s-1540s, are distinguished by a more complex color gamut, and in the battle scenes, the dynamics are full.
The early style of Rajput painting is associated with the principality of Malva and is represented by the oldest (in the middle of the 16th century) series of miniatures on the theme of Ragamala, in which the action takes place against the background of the architectural structures typical of the Delhi Sultanate. A similar architecture can be seen in the miniatures “Chaurapanchasiki” (“Fifty stanzas about the stolen love”, about 1550, Collection Meta, Ahmedabad) – compositions of Kashmirthe poet Bilhana, written in Sanskrit in the late 11th century. The features of the eighteen miniatures of this manuscript have become a kind of tuning fork to define a whole series of stylistically close works, which for convenience designate the “Chaurapanchasika group”. Its style is characterized by: flatness of images, a limited set of colors imposed by local spots with clear boundaries; profiles, postures and gestures of characters are outlined by a sharp, angular line; compositions are broken into small fragments, the background of each of which creates a separate color plane. These are the main characteristics of the original Indian painting style, which was continued in the miniatures of the first known Mewar artist Nasiruddin, who worked at the court in Udaipur at the end of the 16th – early 20th century. XVII centuries.
Between the end of the 16th and 19th centuries, several picturesque schools existed simultaneously in different principalities of Rajasthan. As heirs of different traditions, they demonstrated a wide range of expressive means. The most important centers of painting were Mewar, Bundi, Kota, Jaipur and Kishangarh in eastern Rajasthan, and Jodhpur and Bikaner in the west. With the increase in the power of the Mughals, the influence of their culture increasingly affected the development of local Rajput art styles. To a greater extent this influence was reflected in the style of painting of Bikaner, Jodhpur and Jaipur, as the rulers of these principalities were more closely connected with the Moguls, less on the paintings of Mevar, Bundi and Kot.
The princely courts of Rajasthan were not as rich as the court of the Mughal emperor, so the Rajput workshops were for the most part modest, with a small number of artists. As a rule, with a particular prince, there was a family of artists who passed secrets of skill from generation to generation. In Bikaner, for example, there were two such artistic clans. Such organization of production of miniatures facilitated modern researchers the task of determining the characteristic features of each “creative dynasty”.
Artists quite often moved from one Rajput yard to another, helping to blend the picturesque styles of different centers of Rajasthan. Painters were not Rajputs, since they were artisans, not warriors. Among them were Hindus and Muslims, many of them entered the service of the Rajput princes from the Imperial KitabhaneMoguls. The names of the authors of most of the early works remained unknown. On some large-scale miniatures of the XVIII-XIX centuries, created in Udaipur and Kota, along with the names of the personages depicted are the names of the authors, as a rule, inscribed by the clerks. Several archival references, discovered later, contain valuable information on the status of artists, their origin and features of the patronage of painting by the princes. There also contains information about the composition and prices of materials used in the workshops and mentions the most outstanding paintings created within their walls. Despite the fact that the works of painting were created in the court workshops and, in fact, were aristocratic, the researchers note their close connection with the Rajput art of the people.
Since the middle of the XIX century the competition of Rajput painting began to be made up of European oil painting, and then a picture. The rulers of Jaipur and Alvar founded a photo studio (photo studio), portraits and perpetuating important events, and Rajput artists began resorting to copying photographs and oil painting samples in search of new plots and art solutions. During the period of British rule, the power of the Rajput princes gradually decreased, and when India regained its independence in 1947, the Rajputs lost the last remnants of their power.
While there exist a plethora of themes in Rajput paintings, a common motif found throughout Rajput works is the purposeful manipulation of space. In particular, the inclusion of fuller spaces is meant to emphasize the lack of boundaries and inseparability of characters and landscapes. In this way, the individuality of physical characters is almost rejected, allowing both the depicted backgrounds and human figures to be equally expressive.
Outside of a purely artistic standpoint, Rajput paintings were often politically charged and commented on social values of the time. Mewar’s rulers wanted these painting to portray their ambitions and establish their legacy. Therefore, paintings were often indicative of a ruler’s legacy or their changes made to better society.
General stylistic characteristics painting Rajasthani
The trait is fast and simplistic. It allows itself a certain schematism and strong stylization that harmonizes the different graphic effects. As for the bodies of gods, humans or animals, the soft curve evokes forms and respects the proportions without going into detail as does the Mughal painting, except Kishanghar the xviii th century.
Cities and other buildings are evoked by frontal views, traced to the rule. Some terraces and basins that can appear in cavalier perspective.
The volumes of the body are evoked by a slight tint of passage from dark to light or intense light, but the use of the solid rectangle remains current in all Rajput schools.
The draperies and decorative motifs that cover them favor the meticulous repetition and the perfect regularity of spacings.
Plants, foliage and flowers, are an opportunity to compounds grounds where nature is stylized and often reinvented.
In the late 16th Century, Rajput art schools began to develop distinctive styles, combining indigenous as well as foreign influences such as Persian, Mughal, Chinese and European. Rajasthani painting consists of four principal schools that have within them several artistic styles and substyles that can be traced to the various princely states that patronised these artists. The four principal schools are:
The Mewar school that contains the Chavand, Nathdwara, Devgarh, Udaipur and Sawar styles of painting
The Marwar school comprising the Kishangarh, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Pali and Ghanerao styles
The Hadoti school with the Kota, Bundi and Jhalawar styles and
The Dhundar school of Amber, Jaipur, Shekhawati and Uniara styles of painting.
The Kangra and Kullu schools of art are also part of Rajput painting. Nainsukh is a famous artist of Pahari painting, working for Rajput princes who then ruled that far north.
Economic prosperity of commercial community and revival of “Vaisnavism” and the growth of Bhakti Cult were the major factors that contributed greatly to the development of Rajasthani paintings. In the beginning this style was greatly influenced by religious followers like Ramanuja, Meerabai, Tulsidas, Sri Chaitanya, Kabir and Ramanand.
All of Rajputana was affected by the attack of the Mughals but Mewar did not come under their control till the last. This was the reason that Rajasthani school flourished first in Mewar, (the purest form and later on in), Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bundi, Kota- Kalam, Kishangarh, Bikaner and other places of Rajasthan.
Materials and Tools
Rajput miniature was written on paper. Paper production in Muslim countries was adopted by the Chinese from the VIII century. One of the best paper production centers was Samarkand. In India, paper was made from bamboo, jute, silk fibers and textile rags. The technology of paper production in India under artisanal conditions could not be clearly standardized, so it was of different quality, its thickness and texture varied.
Painters using natural dyes, which are divided into two categories – which do not require additional processing, such as chalk (white), red ocher, sienna (shades of yellow), oxides and sulfates of copper (green), ultramarine and lyapis- lazurite (blue) – sufficient it was good to grind them and rinse them in water – the pigment was ready. Another category belongs to paints that required chemical treatment – lead white (by soaking lead in acetic acid), coal black (produced by burning wood), cinnabar, which was prepared from mercury and sulfur, blue pigment was extracted from an indigo plant, carmine, a red organic dye, extracted from cochineal (special insects), etc. If necessary, the colors were mixed to achieve the desired shade. To finish the miniatures also widely used gold and silver. To firmly fix the ink on paper, various vegetable gums (gums) and milky plant juices were added to it.
The technology of creating a miniature was as follows. The paper was first smoothed out with a stone bar. Then a preliminary drawing (usually a brown paint) was applied with a brush and ink, which was covered with a thin layer of white to fix and make it almost invisible in the finished picture. After that, the colors were applied. They were applied in layers, each of which was polished and triturated (for this, a miniature was placed on a smooth surface with a picture down and rubbed with a block of soft polishing stone).
In general, the technology for the production of miniatures and the work of the Rajput workshops were organized according to the Persian model. Since many Rajput princedoms were small, these workshops by the number of personnel could not be compared with the Kitabhane of the Persian shahs and the Mughal emperors (although some princes had a few dozen artists). A set of works in them was standard: as a daily routine procedure mentioning the editing and repair of miniatures; according to the surviving information, copies of the original works were also made under the guidance of the master master (udada) in the Rajput workshops.
The source of inspiration for Rajput artists was religious and secular literature. Very often the subjects from the Indian Puranas (collections of ancient tales) – the famous epics of the Mahabharata and Ramayana.
In medieval India, a great role was played by the book Bhagavata Purana, which served as the basis for the formation of a powerful cult of the god Vishnu – Vishnuism. The book contains legends that glorify Vishnu in the form of his incarnation – the god Krishna. The first part of the tenth book, Bhagavata Purana, is dedicated to his childish tricks and love stories. Another work, Rasapancha dhyaya, gives the myth of Krsna a completely different sound, describing the dances and love games of Krsna – the lords of the autumn moons. The sequence of these divine love games, flirting and related Krishna’s ventures are denoted by the word ” lila.” The stories from “Krishna-lila” were the favorite themes for Rajput artists since the 16th century.
Over time, the legends and stories surrounding Krishna grew, he became the main figure of the cult of bhakti. In northern India, the cult of bhakti received a powerful impetus due to the poetic hymns of Vallabhacharya, Chaitanya, Jayadeva and Mirabay, poets, who were eventually recognized as Vishnuite saints. Important poetic works dedicated to Krishna are the ” Gitagovinda ” of the Jayadeva, the ” Sursagar ” of the blind poet Surdas, the “Satsai” of the poet Bihari, “Matirama” Rasaraja and “Rasikapriya” Keshavdas. The figure of Krishna became dominant not only in literature, but also in other forms of art. He became the main hero of Rajput painting, especially in Mevara, Jodhpur, Kishangarh, Jaipur, Bundi and Kota, the artists were pleased to illustrate the poems dedicated to him.
Nyack and Naika
Another source source was srinagara – Sanskrit poetic texts, which in the Middle Ages adopted a somewhat mannered appearance, but very popular. In Srinagar, there are the same heroes and heroines, and the verses describe the full range of their love experiences and emotional states. Ananda Coomaraswamy, whose books, published at the beginning of the 20th century,[the source did not specify 945 days ], the academic study of Rajput painting, noted: “If the Chinese have the best knowledge of us understanding the essence of nature, expressing it in the landscapes of” mountain-water “, then Indian art, at least, can teach us how to avoid the wrong understanding the nature of desire… that the essence of enjoyment can not be dirty… “.
In India, there is a kind of theory of love relationships, in which the symbolic love couple Naik and Nayak find themselves in a variety of different positions and love states. This pair in all works is called the same, and the female image is accented, which has many different shades – carefully classified. On this eternal theme created a lot of literary works. The earliest classification of female types is known from the treatise “Natya Shastra” (II century BC – II century AD) The most famous and most often illustrated books on this theme: “Rasa Mandjari” (“A bouquet of joy “) – written in Sanskrit by Bhanu Datta in the 15th century, and” Rasikapriya “(” Guide for connoisseurs “) – written in 1591 in Hindi by Keshavdas, the court poet of Raja Vir Singh Deva, ruler of the Rajput principality inOrchhe, who in recognition of his talent granted him the gift of twenty-one villages. This poet is considered in India as the founding father of srinagar literature (love lyrics).
The book “Rasikapriya” is very popular among the Rajputs. The author singles out about 360 types of women in it, depending on physiology, age, behavior, temperament. They come in four different groups, depending on the constitution and the nature:
Padmini is a beautiful Naika, tender as a lotus, smart, cheerful and nondevlivaya, well-built, loves clean and beautiful clothes.
Chkhitrini – (graceful and beautifully built). Nature has endowed it with various virtues. She loves dancing, music and poetry. Loves spirits and a portrait of her lover.
Sankini – has a quick temper and a clever mind. She has curvy hair, she loves red clothes and in the heat she can hurt with words. Determined and shameless.
Hastini – rough and massive. She has a heavy body, fat face, thick legs and lower lip, wide brows; speaks in a rude and spiteful voice.
The author divides the heroines into different age categories: up to 16 years – Bala, up to 30 years – Taruni, up to 55 years – Prudha and older 55 – Vriddha. Also classified according to the time and place of the meeting: at a holiday, in a forest, in an empty yard, in a pond, at night. All this in the pictures is symbolized, so that everything is clear to everyone – in gestures, in the details of the situation, the whole kind of heroine, etc.
The images of eight Naik types are distributed:
Swadhinapatika Naika is a young wife, whose husband fulfills all her desires;
Utkanthita Naika – dreaming of a meeting;
Vasakasadja Naika – waiting for the return of the beloved;
Abhisandhita Naika – the one remaining after the quarrel;
Khandita Naika – reproaching her beloved after her betrayal;
Proshitapika Naik – is in separation;
Vipralabha Naika – in vain awaiting the meeting;
Abyssarika Naika – going to seek the beloved.
Less frequently, four main types of Nayak are depicted. It:
Anukula (sincere and faithful) – generous to kind, affectionate words, active and intelligent, loves his wife and is not fond of other women.
Dakshina is the one who loves all women, including his wife (or wives).
The Sath is false and false. He says affectionate words, while he himself thinks about the other and is not afraid of sin.
Dhrista – one who is not afraid to abuse his power against a woman, can beat her, and never admit that he is not right.
Two other closely related themes of miniatures were “Ragamala” and “Barakhmasa.” Ragamala translates as “garland rag”. Raga is a composite concept from classical Indian musical art. This is a melody, which corresponds to the special time of the day and circumstances, and which creates a special mood (“race”). In connection with these features, the number of rags is very large. Ragam corresponds to Hindu gods, so these musical works are used for meditation and as a kind of prayers without words. There are masculine (raga) and feminine (ragini) melodic types, differing in order and harmony, as well as the expected impact on the listener. As picturesque illustrations to ragas, the images of lovers, in particular Krsna and Radha, are used.
The creation of raga myths are attributed to Mahadeva (Shiva) and his wife Parvati, and the invention of Ragini to the god Brahma. Shiva had five heads, each of which gave birth to her stew; the sixth stew, according to legend, was created by his wife Parvati – so there was a ragamala, that is a garland of ragas. The earliest ragamala is called Naradya-Siksa, it was composed by Narada about. V century AD. e. The musical-theoretical concept of raga first appears in the “Brhaddeshi” – the work of the Sanskrit author Matanga, which was written between the 5th and 7th centuries AD. e. In the VIII century, Raga-Sagara was created (attributed to two authors – Narada and Dattila), and between the 9th and 13th centuries the “Sangita-Ratna-Mala” composed by Mammata. In the development of raga, an important role was played by the Sufipoet and musician Amir Khosrov Dehlevi, the largest connoisseur of Indian and Persian music. While at the court of the Delhi Sultan Alauddin Hilgi (1296-1316) he composed several new ragas and invented the sitar. No less important was the work of Tansen – the court musician of the Mughal emperor Akbar (1556-1605). He composed a series of new ragas, which became widely known as “Ragamala Tansen.”
Sanskrit authors in their writings created and developed a remarkable iconography of rag and ragamala, describing them in artistic language. Similar descriptions can be found in the work of Sarangadeva “Sangita-Ratnakara” (1210-47gg). Later, in 1440, Narada composed verses describing the six basic ragas and the 30 ragini, which were included in his book Panchama-Sarah-Samhita. Similar descriptions of rag lead Ran Kumbh Karn Mahimedra in 1450 (“Sangita-mimamsa”, “Sangitasara”) and Mezkarn in 1509 (“Ragamala Meşkarny”). Based on these descriptions, Rajput artists began to create a series of miniatures depicting ragamala, creating a visual line to poetry and music.
The number of variations of the rag is enormous – it is theoretically possible to execute up to 3500 variations of the rag. But the main six ragas, which are called Ragapatnis or Ragaputnas, usually have from 84 to 108 variations. The six basic ragas are:
A typical “Ragamala” consists of 36 miniatures that depict the different stages of the relationship between a man and a woman associated with the seasons and time of the day. Ragamala is associated with the cult of bhakti, in which the bhakta seeks such a spiritual or physical contact with the deity, as if it were a human being.
Barakhmas and other topics
Illustrations on the theme of Barakhmas (twelve months, that is, seasons) were also performed in series. The theory of seasons is connected with the agricultural calendar. At the same time, the Indians are convinced that the rhythm of the seasons is the rhythm of life. Seasonal poetry and songs on this subject, very popular with women, are dedicated to each month of the year. Songs are sung when the time comes. Probably, earlier this was a special magical practice, but women, in all probability, perceive them as usual sad songs about love and separation.
The Indian calendar was the theme of many poetic works. Barakhmasa has a folklore background, but the already famous poet Kalidas (IV-V centuries AD), who wrote in the Gupta era in Sanskrit, uses this folklore poetry in his work “Ritu Samkhara”. In the 15th century, the saint and poet, the first sage of sikhism Guru Nanak (1469-1538) composed and sang his Barahmas. Following him, Guru Arjuna (1581-1606) composed the verses of “Barakhmas”, which entered the sacred book of the Sikhs ” Guru Granth Sahib “, known for its mystical entreaties.
In medieval India, several poets wrote about the beauty of different seasons: Senapati, Datta, Dev, Govinda, Anandram, Netram and Kashira. However, the most popular was the work of Keshavdas (1555-1617), the famous poet at the court of Raji Vir Singh Deva in Orchha, who dedicated a part of verses to Barakhmas in the tenth chapter of the book “Kaviiprias”. He gave the seasonal songs of Barakhmasy a special, new meaning. The spirit of his songs permeates the pain of separation, and the hope of an imminent meeting with the beloved, who will pacify this pain.
The songs emphasize the features of each of the months, because of which each of them is favorable for love in its own way. These features are depicted in Rajput painting using scenes from the legend of Ram and Sita, which describes their joint stays in the forests.
Rajput masters created a series of miniatures also on the theme ” Dashavatar “, which depicted ten avataras of the god Vishnu. They wrote miniatures on the themes ” Devi-mahatmya ” – Glorification of the Great Goddess. Many of her actions, including the struggle against the forces of evil, were depicted with many impressive details. Many works of local poets, as a rule, religious content were illustrated.
All these traditional subjects became the basic for the picturesque schools of Mevara, Bundi, Kota, Kishangarh and especially for the schools of the Pahari mountain region. However, from the second half of the XVIII century they were pressed by themes related to the life and leisure of the Rajput princes; some artists were so close to their ruler that their works became like a documentary chronicle of life of cartridges. Especially popular were the images of princely hunting, which in those days was a mixture of sports and state ritual, as well as caressing scenes with the participation of beauties from princely harems – “zanana.” A great role was played by the art of portraiture.
Painting of the main centers
The rulers of Mewara raised their ancestry to the “Great Sun Clan” and wore the title “Rana”, emphasizing their greatness. The title “Rana” does not have an exact definition and is usually translated as “prince”. In addition, the princes of Mewara added to their name the epithet “Singh”, which means “lion”.
Painting Bundi and Kota
Located in the south-east of Rajasthan, the principalities of the Bundi and the Kota until 1624 were a single state. He was ruled by two different branches of the Had clan (in this connection the Bundi, Kota and some of the nearby areas are united under the common name of “Hadoti lands”, and the painting is called “Hadoti School”). The early history of the Bundi, or as it was called in ancient times – Vrndavati, is known from panegyric ballads. After the Mogul Empire gained strength, the ruler of Bundi Surjan Singh (1554-85) in 1569 went to the service of the Mughal emperors, served them faithfully, for which he was granted the title of Rao Raja and transferred to the possession of the Chunar district near Benares.
Painting of Jaipur
The principality, whose capital in 1728 became the city of Jaipur, has been known as Dhundhar since ancient times and since its appearance in the 10th century it was ruled by the dynasty (clan) of Kachchava. At the beginning of the XVI century, the capital of the principality became the city of Amber, whose main fortress was built in the XII century.
The flowering of Jaipur painting falls on the 18th century. However, before that, in the old capital of the principality – Amber, there was a school of painting, which had some local features. On the one hand, there is a strong dependence on the Mughal style in it, which is easy to explain by related ties to the Moguls (the researchers note that local artists have been leading the Rajasthan in terms of the speed of mastering the Mughal art techniques), on the other hand, in Amber’s painting there is a deep connection with folk art.
Painting of the principality of Jaipur was not concentrated exclusively and only in the capital of the state, but also developed in neighboring centers in which the families of feudal lords were living, connected by ties of kinship with the capital dynasty of Kachchava. Local painting in Isard, Malpur, Samoda and Karauli was influenced by the capital styles. Another place where the Jaipur school showed itself was the border Alvar principality, founded by representatives of one of the branches of the Kachchava clan at the end of the 18th century as a result of the collapse of the Mughal empire. Here, with two rulers, Rao Raja Pratap Singh (1756-90) and his son Rao Raja Bakhtavar Singh (1790-1814), a small local school (or sub-style) appeared, which, apparently, was the result of the arrival of two artists in Alvar from Jaipur, whose names were Shiv Kumar and Dhalu Ram. They arrived around 1770, when Rao Raja Pratap Singh built the fort Rajgarh, making it his capital. Dhalu Ram was a master of the fresco (he is credited with painting the “glass palace” Shish Mahal, later he was appointed head of the court museum). Shiv Kumar is supposed to return to Jaipur after a while. In miniatures and frescoes, local artists displayed scenes of princely receptions, scenes dedicated to Krishna and Radha, Rama and Sita, Nayak and Naike, etc. Raja Bunny Singh, who ruled in 1815-57, was particularly ambitious in his political and cultural ambitions. In order to demonstrate the highest patronage of art and to rise in this respect to the level of the Mughal emperors, he is approx. In 1840 he invited the leading Delhi artist Gulam Ali Khan,
Painting of Marvara (Jodhpura)
Marwar is a distorted “Maruvar”, which means “Land of Mary”, that is, “country of death”. Historians believe that this name was fixed in connection with the fact that the princedom was located in the locality, most of which is occupied by the Tar desert (although modern historians maintain that in the 13th-16th centuries the living conditions there were much softer). The state of Marwar was created by representatives of the Rajput clan of Rathor who came to these places from Badaun after they were ousted by the Muslim conqueror Qutb-ud-Din (suggest that the Ratkhors are descendants of the Rashtrakut dynasty). The Principality was founded in the 13th century (the traditional date is 1226 years).
Painting of Kishangarh
The state of Kishangarh was founded in 1609 by Kishan Singh (1609-1615), prince of Jodhpur. He built a fortress near Lake Gundalao, which can often be seen on the works of Kishangarh painting, and in the middle of the lake there is a pavilion that can only be accessed by boat. This ruler also established the first art workshop in his court.
Raja Sawant Singh and Bani Thani
The real flowering of Kishangarh painting is associated with the name of Raja Savant Singh (1748-1765). This was the eldest son of Raj Singh and his wife Maharaja Chattur Kunwari Sahib. Following his predecessors, Savant Singh joined the Mughals, and in his youth he often visited the court of Emperor Muhammad Shah (1719-1748), where revelry reigned. However, with age, he began to devote more and more time to religion, professing Vishnuism in Kishangarh and participating in sacred rituals of bhakti. In 1748, his father died, and Savant Singh of Delhi hurried to Kishangarh, but despite the fact that his accession to the throne was approved by the emperor Muhammad Shah himself, he could not inherit the principality, since the younger brother Bahadur Singh usurped power by capturing the throne. Savant Singh turned to the emperor for help, but the Marathas led by Shamsher Bahadur helped him. Despite all attempts, his troops could not capture the capital – Rupnagar. As a result, Savant Singh agreed to divide the principality into three parts (1756). He received Rupnagar, and Kishangarh and Kakredi got his brothers. After some time he transferred the reins of government to his son Sardar Singh (1757-1766), and, having retained all titles and honors, with his wife retired from worldly vanity to the sacred city of Vrindavan, where he died on August 21, 1765.
Source from Wikipedia