This book tells the story of the visual arts, both commissioned and acquired, by the royal family of Jaipur over a period of more than two centuries, highlighting the dual roles of its rulers as patrons who commissioned works from their own court artists, and as collectors who acquired works from elsewhere. In the special case of Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II, it also encompasses the creation of art, as he was an accomplished amateur photographer.
The book begins with paintings from the 18th century, from the period of the founder Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, up to that of Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, under whose reign painting in particular flourished. It then captures the excitement of the late 19th century when the camera competed with, but also complemented, the artist’s brush under Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II. In the end, images leading to Indian Independence and its aftermath overseen by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II and Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II, bring us up to the mid-20th century.