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Ranjit Singh

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Punjab Plains (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1838 - ca. 1840 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by O. E. Dickinson

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    South Asia, Room 41, case E1

This conventional portrait of the Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh (r. 1801-1839) shows him riding a white stallion through a sketchily depicted landscape accompanied by a bearer. The unknown artist has included the traditional indications of royalty, the halo and parasol, derived from Mughal painting.
The portrait was given to the museum in 1953 by O.E. Dickinson, the great-nephew of Lord Auckland, Governor-General of India (1836-1842), who brought it back to England in 1842. Lord Auckland had visited the Sikh court in 1838 where he must have acquired this painting, with six others that were also given to the museum.

Physical description

Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Ranjit Singh, wearing a dark green coat and trousers and a yellow turban, rides a white stallion with a red saddle-cloth edged with gold. He faces right. An attendant in green turban and yellow jama holds a red parasol flecked with gold over the maharaja. The landscape is sketchily indicated by means of a stippled green foreground with clumps of plants, and a pale blue background.

Place of Origin

Punjab Plains (made)


ca. 1838 - ca. 1840 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Maharaja Runjeet Singh


Height: 20.5 cm, Width: 12.9 cm, Height: 26.5 cm with border, Width: 18.9 cm with border

Object history note

The painting was formerly in the collection of Lord Auckland, Governor-General of India (1836-42) and brought by him to England in 1842. It was given to the museum by his great-nephew O. E. Dickinson in 1953.

Descriptive line

Painting, Ranjit Singh on horseback, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Punjab Plains (Sikh), ca. 1838-1840

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

cat. 5, pp. 127-128 and fig. 17.
Paintings of the Sikhs / W.G. Archer. London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1966

Production Note



Opaque watercolour; Gold; Paper



Subjects depicted

Horse; Equestrian; Ruler


Paintings; Animals and Wildlife; Royalty; Sikhism; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

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