Posted on: 8 February 2013

Portret van Shivaji -1675

Shivaji (1627-1680) was up to his hips pictured, left, with a sword in his right hand and a spear (?) In the armored left. Sheet 46 in the `Witsen-Album ', with 49 Indian miniatures of princes. Above the portrait is a piece of paper stuck with the name in Persian. Below the portrait is a piece of paper stuck with the name in Portuguese.

Inscription in Dutch:
Siwagii, Vorst in Decam, met wiens zoon Senbagii den Sultan Abulhasan, koning van Kolkonda, over het Rijk geoorlogt heeft.

Source: Rijksmuseum

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What does the rest of the inscription mean...? Shivaji had no connection with Golconda, or the Nizam. It appears he' wearing a 'dagger hand' on the left, a popular weapon those days...

its a gauntlet

dat is geen kolkonda, het is golkonda :-)

>>Shivaji had no connection with Golconda>>On the contrary Shivaji visited Golkonda or Bhaganagar in 1676 AD as an equal to meet "Kutubshah" Ali Hasan Tanashah to seal a treaty of friendship and mutual assistance against Mughals .Shivaji was accorded a grand welcome befitting a King when he accompanied by his Army of 20000 foot and 30000 strong cavalry entered Bhaganagar in a grand procession .He stayed in Golconda fort for 3 days and attended many ceremonies with Kutubshah . Shivaji then went on to to conquest many forts like Gingee,Vellore and Kurnool and brought under his administration vast territory.This conquest proved very valuable in terms of revenue and as a strategic space later when Aurangzeb invaded Deccan. Shivaji's son Rajaram took refuge in the fort of Gingee for nearly 7/8 years when Aurangzeb's mughal army was ravaging Maharashtra.

This painting might have been a contemporary painting of Shivaji executed during his lifetime in 1675!! ...making it absolutely unique and special!

RBSI Here is a link to zoom in and view the portrait in detail. . .Can some one translate the footnote and heading ?

Mr Bhagawat - The Dutch heading/ footnote says : " Portrait of Shivaji, anonymous, 1675. Gouache and gold, 203mm × 140mm ." The R.B.S.I. has translated the remainder of the description notes above the illustration.

Shivaji paraded the largest army he ever assembled (70,000) towards Tanjore to subdue his half-brother Vyankoji - then Governor of the Carnatic under Bijapur. Shivaji negotiated a free-pass for his men through (and increased pension from) Golconda country, under it's last king Abu Hussein, with offers of military help against Mughal or Bijapur advances. But, after his death, when Aurangzeb made his final push to overthrow the Marathas, both of these kingdoms fell under the emperor's half-a-million strong army. As Mr. Bhagawat states, this imperial army suffered reverses down South at Gingee, led by Shivaji's son Rajaram. Shivaji had led this campaign anticipating just such a circumstance, to hold forts remote to his own country (700 miles from his base at Raigad) to which his people could take refuge in against Mughal hostilities. For, he sensed that to overcome the Maratha, Bijapur and Golconda armies and still remain fresh for an attack in the South was beyond Aurangzeb. How prescient it turned out to be. By the way, the Dutch were in control of Golconda's ports when Shivaji passed through their country. It is possible that this portrait was made during his stay at Abu Hussein's court. There exists a delightful monograph called The Grand Rebel (1937) by Dennis Kincaid that details Shivaji's exploits.

The Persian inscription on the pasted label says: In surat Sivaji ast' - This is the likeness of Shivaji.

@ Shashi kolar One or two points to bring to your attention . subjugation of his half-brother Ekojiraje was not the only intention to launch this conquest . Shivaji had conducted the coronation ceremony of himself and had spent considerable sums of money for it.He wanted to replenish his treasury back to health .So for that he had to conquer new territories. Shivaji's father Shahaji was present in that part for many years and he was supporting and trying to give strength to various Nayakas and Palegars down south who were the decedents of previous Vijaya nagara empire. Shivaji wanted to renew these contacts after his fathers death. Adilshahi was in the throes of chaos at that time because the Adilshahi court was divided in two camps one of Pathans and second belonging to Siddis and southern muslims. Shivaji wanted to capitalize on this opportunity to expand his kingdom. Another point to note is Shivaji had kept two armies ready on the northern and southern borders of his kingdom to protect it from any mischief from both Mughals and Bijapur Adilshah.

Hello Mr. Bhagawat. Thank you for filling in the details. It made good reading. Yes, Shivaji got back to his capital with rich spoils (with Mysore under his rule too). But, it is remarkable that he marched a vast army though the single richest state in South India without incident, even punishing his soldiers who attempted to help themselves. This was possibly done to refrain from inflaming Mughal ire, and to keep a neutral state between his army in the south and his native country. Shivaji's coronation (1674) was indeed a month long spectacle, but it is said that he was of austere tastes. He was eager to abdicate in 1676 due to ill health and state of bereavement owing to his mother's death. He sought to do the same in Golconda, after ten days in prayer at the Srisailam temple.

The weapon in Shivaji's left hand is NOT a spear. It is a "dandpatta". A dandpatta is an Indian sword with a gauntlet integrated as a handguard. Traditionally, Maratha warriors were trained to fight with the dandpattas. Shivaji was reputedly trained in the art of fighting with dandpatta.

The Brilliance of Shivaji can never be adequately described can it. :-)

on top of this picture written in persian that this photo of sivaji.