British School Portrait Oil Painting of Rajput Indian Maharaja
This exceptional painting on glass, apparently unsigned, from the early 20th century depicts an Indian Maharaja who appears to be from a Rajput province, possibly from Rajasthan, seated on an ornate, carved throne beside a magnificent hookah. In ornate period gilded wood and gesso frame, regilded and with some gesso losses. Glass measures approximately 14 by 20 inches. Shown here photographed with and without flash, which explains the variation of color and details. Darks areas are shadows on the image using flash.
He looks very similar to Bhawani Singh Bahadur, Maharaja Rana of Jhalawar (1874-1929). Located in the southeastern part of the Rajasthan and once known as Brij Nagar (Brijnagar), Jhalawar was founded in 1791 by the Rajput, Jhala Zalim Singh.
He is wearing the insignia of the Grand Knight Commander from the order of the Most Exalted Star of India, first instituted by Queen Victoria in 1861 and later modified in 1866, including the medal depicting the star set within a sunburst on his left lapel, and the neck badge which is a cameo of the queen in profile hanging from a five-sided star.