Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi is one such individual. She was called Manikarnika by her parents; married to Gangadhar Rao, the ruler of Jhansi, a small Maratha principality in Bundelkhand. She died fighting British troops during the uprising of 1857.
Larger than life, riding a white steed, she tears through the rank and file of the enemy. With the sword held aloft, her infant son tied to her back, she looks unafraid a glow on her face and a smile on her lips fear conspicuous by its absence. She is dressed as a warrior but her crown strengthens her status as the queen of Jhansi.
The background painted in fiery colours lends character to the battle scene. An abandoned fortress can be seen atop a hill. The sun is setting but the battle shows no sign of a halt. Keeping the hallowed status of Lakshmibai in mind, the artist has given her a pivotal position, foreshortening everything else in relation. The fact that she was the only woman rebel leader has given her memory a special aura.
This description by Renu Rana.
Of Related Interest:
The Queen of Jhansi
Rani of Jhansi
Queen Padmini Commits Sati (Jauhar)
Indian Women's Battle for Freedom
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