Karan Singh (r. 1631-69) was lauded in Bikaner and by all the Rajput princes for his defiance of Emperor Aurangzeb, "particularly after Aurangzeb banned the arts and launched a campaign of conversion to Islam" (R. Ahluwalia, Rajput Painting, London, 2008, p.97). He was a popular figure and portraits of him are painted until the late 19th century. A Jaipur portrait dated circa 1890 is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (IS. 46-1989). As the present work, it is modeled after earlier 17th century Bikaner originals such as a work in the Victoria and Albert Museum dated circa 1660 (IS.336-1951). Karan Singh patronized a studio of artists and it is during his reign that Mughal artists established themselves in Bikaner and were responsible for developing the late 17th century Bikaner style (Andrew Topsfield (ed.), Court Painting in Rajasthan, Mumbai, 2000, p.58). Two 17th century portraits of Karan Singh were in the Royal Bikaner collections. They ‘reveal a rather slow-witted, but honest and energetic, almost obstinate character’ (Goetz, The Art and Architecture of Bikaner State, Banbury, 1950, p.105; not illustrated). A portrait of Karan Singh dated to the first half of the 18th century is in the British Museum (1974,0617,0.4.16) and offers the closest comparable example to the present work.