The Mughal connection brought about interesting and important changes in Rajput painting. These changes were visible in dress designs, architectural details, art-Motifs, landscape patterns and choice of subject matter.
A very different type of development took place in the intimate atmosphere of the small court of Kishangarh which has been described as a minor miracle in the history of Indian art. Kishangarh, a small and almost negligibel state situated between Ajmer and Amber and belonging to a line of Rathors of Marwar, was founded by Kishan Singh (1600-1615), son of Udai Singh of Jodhpur Kishan Singh built the fort of Kishangrh near the Gundalo lake and obtained high position under Jahangir. Most important king of Kishangarh who was responsible for the tremendous stylistic achievement of Kishangarh painting was Sawant Singh. During the first decade of the eighteenth century he had written poetry and composed devotional music in honour of Radha and Krishna. His pen name was Nagori Das. In a beautiful lady knows as Bani-thani, (he prince got all his inspiration leading to his poetical creations and patronization of a very special style of painting depicting Radha and Krishna, painted by a highly talented painter named Nihal Chand.
The small group of paintings done by Nihal chand and a host of other celebrities show Radha and Krishna in a pavilion or grove or celebrating various festivals, all expressions of divine love that characterize the dreams and aspirations of Sawant Singh (Nagori Das) as a lover and devotee. Nihal Chand’s success ill creating a perfect visual image of his master as lyrical passion. His Radha is tall, slender, petite and beautiful to a degree approaching the supernatural. The portrayal of Radha, with the overing lotus-petal eyes, wearing a sublime look, long pointed nose, thin lips and pointed chin, wearing an Odhni on a very high orange Choti rank amongst the finest achievements of Rajasthani painting.
Though the style created by this great painter under the guidance of Sawant Singh, who was himself a good painter, continued for many years after his death, it merely repeated the earlier forms and failed to achieve further.
The study of Rajasthani painting as a separate and important part of the history of Indian art is of comparatively recent origin.
Author:- Dr. Namita Sharma