Central India

Unidentified Prince of Rewa

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… Read more »

Jayajirao Scindia, Maharaja Scindia of Gwalior and his suite

This photograph is of Jayajirao Scindia (1834-1886), the Maharaja of Gwalior, with his counsels. The Maratha Confederacy was an invincible force in 18th-century India. Ranoji Shinde, a Peshwas lieutenant who was pivotal in the Peshwas’ fight against the Mughals in Malwa, was one of the army’s rising stars. In 1731, Ranoji established his rule in… Read more »

Sultan Shah Jahan Begum, Begum of Bhopal

This is a Carte de Visite portrait of the Begum of Bhopal, Shah Jahan Begum (1838-1901). The state of Bhopal was unique in Indian history for being ruled exclusively by women for over a hundred years. Their line began with the 19-year-old widow of the second Nawab of Bhopal, Qudsia Begum. A remarkable matriarch, Qudsia fought… Read more »

Shivaji Rao Holkar, Maharaja of Indore

This photograph is of the Maharaja of Indore, Shivaji Rao Holkar (1859-1908). Maharaja Shivaji Rao Holkar was the 13th monarch who took the throne in 1886. On his chest is the medal for the Knights Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India, an honour awarded to Indian princes and chiefs and British… Read more »

Gond: A Collective of Birds

This is a Gond painting created in the tribal regions of Madhya Pradesh. A ritualistic mural tradition of the Gondi tribe, Gond paintings are done on paper with synthetic colours now. This image is created by Kaushal Prasad Tekam on paper. His signature style is creating a texture through using dashes in various tonalities of… Read more »

Bhil: Man and Animal Forms

The Bhils are one of the oldest tribal communities of India, residing in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, etc. Like every other tribal community, the Bhil life and lifestyles are intricately connected with nature – an aspect that is also clearly evident in the art they create. This Bhil painting, created on paper,… Read more »