This is a portrait of an unidentified prince of Rewa, an important princely state in Central India, second only to Gwalior.
Rulers in the Indian Subcontinent were typically chosen from the ranks of warrior nobility and given legitimacy by a council of ministers and nobility. Kingship was often hereditary and princes—and, less frequently, princesses born to rule had to learn the ropes pretty quickly. Titled Yuvraj or Walihad, the heir-apparent was often born into a large household with younger siblings and cousins who were also raised and schooled to someday, if required, assume charge of the State.
British officers played an active role in grooming young royals from India’s various princely states. They supervised the princes’ education to shape the scions into determined supporters of British rule. As they grew older, colleges like Mayo College in Ajmer, Daly College in Indore, Rajkumar College in Rajkot and Aitchison College in Lahore, all staffed by British principals and lecturers, achieved this vital objective.
TitleUnidentified Prince of Rewa
Periodlate 19th century
Accession No.2018.30.1 (14)