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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Culture: Indian
Title: Portrait of Surat Singh Rathor (Hari Singh-ote) Astride a White Horse
Date: 1820s
Medium: Opaque watercolors on paper
Dimensions: Image: 10 3/4 x 10 5/8 inches (27.3 x 27 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Wolf Ladejinsky
Object Number: 74.060.001
Label Text: Maharaja Surat Singh Rathor ruled the city of Bikaner in Rajasthan from 1787-1828. His military adventures left this princely state with huge debts and after failing an initial attempt to obtain British protection in 1802, he continued to rule as a tyrant. In 1815, an uprising against him eventually led to his gaining British protection and entering into an alliance with the British East India Company in 1818. That same year, Maharaja Man Singh of Jodhpur, also in Rajasthan, entered into a treaty with the British.

Equestiran portraits of regional rulers with connections to Maharaja Man Singh were produced in large numbers by the Jodhpur court artists. Amar Das' picture follows the visual conventions of Rajasthani royal portraiture, showing the ruler in profile. The rider, together with his horse and attendants, is depicted with such monumentality that the picture overspills its borders in a static formality enlivened by bold colors.

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.