Kishangarh Court Painters
The contribution of Kishangarh court painters in providing a rich body of work, which is considered exquisite and one of its kinds for its sensuous beauty, soft colors and fascinating landscapes is noteworthy. Most of these artists engaged by the royal court were trained in Mughal workshops and brought traditions, which were combined with the regional art techniques to produce lovely creations.
Girdhardas patronized by Raja Raj Singh is the first known artist from Kishangarh. An inscription on the portrait of Raj Singh bears his name.
Bhawanidas was well trained in the Mughal style painting. He served under Raja Raj Singh and produced paintings, which displayed luxurious courtly postures, delicately modeled faces, and graceful figures that emphasized on the charm of the youthful beauty.
Some of his notable works are ‘A princess enjoying fire works’, ‘Queen listening to music’ and ‘Raja Sahasmal with his falconers’.
Dalchand and Kalyandas
Dalchand and Kalyandas were related to Bhawanidas. While Dalchand was the son of Bhawanidas, Kalyandas was a relative of Dalchand. These artists established the Kishangarh School of painting, which flourished immensely under Raja Raj Singh and later under Raja Sawant Singh. These artists employed gold., a technique brought from Mughal workshops, in the paintings.
One of Dalchand’s significant works is the painting of a horse, which was presented to Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar.
While Kalyandas is known for painting a portrait of Rao Durjan Sal of Kotah.
Nooro Dhadi was a local painter who painted Rathor Daulatsingh, a jagirdar of the State.
One of the most outstanding painters was Nihal Chand (1710-1782) who produced brilliant work. His name figures in the captions of paintings and the papers of the Kishangarh State.
From the period of 1755 to 1766 AD, Nihal Chand worked for Raja Sardar Singh who ruled in the northern part of the partitioned State. He produced a memorable work in the association of his team which consisted of Sitaram, Soorajmal, and Amar Chand.
After the demise of Sardar Singh, Roopnagar was again merged with Kishangarh. Nihal Chand returned to Kishangarh and was given 200 acres of land.
Nihal Chand under Raja Sawant Singh who was himself a poet and an accomplished musician and painter rendered visual expression to Sawant Singh’s poems and feelings in his paintings. He was close to Sawant Singh and evolved a figure of Radha based on the appearance of Bani Thani, the mistress of Raja Sawant Singh. He evolved a mannerist style which emphasized on the on the slender curves and almond eyes of Bani Thani. Radha as Bani Thani was shown with delicate eyebrows curved like a bow, long neck, curls of ebony hair, shapely nose and fastidious nose.
The series of Radha Krishna paintings depicting the mystical love between them are his notable creations.
His painting called ‘Boat of Love’ is considered as a masterpiece of Kishangarh School of painting. The depiction of minutest details with sheer perfection celebrates the eternal love of Radha and Krishna. His other works include ‘Radha offering flowers to Krishna’, ‘Tambula Seva’, ‘Shukadeva Muni preaching Bhagavat to Parikshit’, ‘Sawant Singh and Bani Thani’ and ‘Radha and Krishna seated on a lotus’.
Nihal Chand work speaks for its delicate and graceful drawing and distinctive patterns, and colors
The painting style of Sitaram, eldest son of Nihal Chand closely resembles to that of his father. His notable works are ‘Krishna offering a garland to Radha’, ‘Krishna holding Radha’s Odhani’ and ‘Diwali festival’.
He was brother of Sitaram and his worthy sketches indicate his love for brush.
He was a son of Sooraj Mal and grandson of Nihal Chand. Painting of Kalyan Rai ji executed by him is his noteworthy contribution.
Son of Nanagram, he excelled in drawing and painting of flowers and fruits.
He is remembered for his well-ordered compositions. His notable works include ‘A Moonlit Music Party’ that shows Raja Sardar Singh at his Roop Nagar Palace and also figures Nihal Chand.
Sooratram and Budhlal
Sooratram and Budhlal are other significant names, which worked at Fatehgarh in the State and produced lovely works of art.
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