Photograph by Bourne and Shepherd
The Full-length portrait of Sir Sayaji Rao, the young Gaekwar of Baroda (Vadodara) is taken a few months after his accession to the throne of Baroda on 27 May, 1875. The state of Vadodara in Gujarat, western India was ruled by the Gaekwads from 1734 to 1947. The rule of Sayaji Rao (r.1875-1939) was characterised by unprecedented progress and reform. He initiated a number of social reforms and paid great attention to the economic development of the state. He founded modern textile and tile factories and it is largely due to his policies that Vadodara is today one of the most important centres for the textile, chemical and oil industries in India. In order to develop education he introduced compulsory primary schooling, a library system for adult education and founded the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Vadodara.