Equestrian portrait of Amar Singh II (r. 1698-1710) riding the horse Gira Baj

Historical period(s)
ca. 1697
Udaipur school
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
H x W (painting): 26 × 20.2 cm (10 1/4 × 7 15/16 in) H x W (overall (added)): 32 × 26.7 cm (12 5/8 × 10 1/2 in)
India, Rajasthan state, Udaipur
Credit Line
Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection — funds provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries
Ralph and Catherine Benkaim collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


horse, India, portrait, raja, Ralph and Catherine Benkaim collection
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Shariar M. Ghassemi
Catherine Glynn Benkaim


In early modern north India, horses were invaluable in battle, and thus played a central role in the culture of the Kshatriya warriors who ruled and protected the kingdoms of Rajasthan. By the late seventeenth century, royal portraiture was on its way to becoming the primary genre of Rajput painting, and equestrian portraits were a key mode for representing the prowess and territorial control of kings. In this painting, a ruler of Mewar, haloed and wearing a gold jama, proceeds across a sage green ground on a favorite chestnut steed. The portrait depicts either Rana Raj Singh I (r. 1652-80) or his successor Rana Jai Singh I (r. 1680-98) of Mewar. However, it relates more closely to equestrian portraits of Raj Singh that bear the name of horse and ruler in inscriptions.

Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Rights Statement

(not entered)