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Court Painting for the Amber Rulers,Circa 1590-1727

Title:Court Painting for the Amber Rulers,Circa 1590-1727
Author:Das, Asok Kumar
Enumeration:Vol. 51 Issue no. 3; March 2000, p. 41-56
Abstract:Amber, a minor kingdom in northeastern Rajasthan ruled by the Kachhwaha Rajputs, became an important centre of art from the later years of the 16th century. Raja Man Singh (1589--1614) and Mirza Raja Jai Singh (1621--67) rose to high positions amongst the nobles in the Mughal court underAkbar and his successors. Their exposure to the splendid cultural and artistic achievement of the Mughals provided the right impetus for this development.Amber painters followed the Mughal court style in drawing formal portraits and court scenes, but continued their own native style in respect of manuscriptillustration and wall paintings. During the reign of Ram Singh I(1667-89)a stylistic integration began to develop between these. Mughal-trained painters, however, continued to work at Amber along with local artists. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh (1699-1743) was the most illustrious ruler in the line through whose committed patronage for art and architecture and other branches of knowledge Amber became one the most notable centres of Rajasthani painting. Many sets of ragamala and other poetical and devotional works were illustrated during his reign. He was like his predecessors an avid collector of manuscripts and paintings and choicest Mughal, Deccani, Malwa, and other paintings filled dozens of albums in hispothikhana. The planned city of Jaipur built by him in 1727 was turnedinto a great centre of art activity in the remaining years of his rule andafterwards.

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