Tipu Sultan thumbnail 1
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Tipu Sultan

Painting
ca. 1790 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This painting by an anonymous Indian artist was probably done in Mysore. It depicts Tipu Sultan, ruler of Mysore from 1782 to 1799, who was defeated by the British at the Siege of Seringapatam. The V&A houses a mechanical organ that once belonged to him. It is in the shape of a European being mauled by a tiger and is known as 'Tippoo's Tiger'.
In the decades following Tipu Sultan's defeat and death, Delhi artists included the Mysore ruler in the series they often painted of famous Indian rulers. They seem to have used this portrait, which includes jewellery that is distinctively different from northern fashions, as a model. One such Delhi miniature is also in the V&A collection (646-1870).


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Painted in opaque watercolour on paper
Brief Description
Painting, Tipu Sultan, opaque watercolour on paper, Mysore, ca. 1790
Physical Description
Portrait of Tipu Sultan (1749-99). The ruler of Mysore is wearing a bright green tunic with matching green turban, decorated with a jewelled turban ornament. He has three pearl necklaces each with a jewelled pendant, and a jewelled sash over his right shoulder, which holds a gold sword on his left hip and a large green and yellow striped patka, a sash or belt. Tipu Sultan rests against a red bolster; the background is blue.
Dimensions
  • Height: 27cm
  • Width: 21.5cm
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
Gallery Label
[Maharaja Exhibition] 148 Tipu Sultan Mysore, about 1790–1800 Tipu made strenuous efforts to legitimise his regime. This profile portrait, with the ruler’s hand resting on a parapet, recalls the conventions of a Mughal jharokha or ‘balcony’ painting in which the emperor presented himself to his people. The green of his turban and robe was the colour associated with the Prophet Muhammad. Opaque watercolour on paper V&A: IS.266-1952 Given by Colonel T.G. Gayer-Anderson, CMG, DSO and his twin brother Major R.G. Gayer-Anderson, Pasha (2009)
Credit line
Given by Colonel T. G. Gayer-Anderson, CMG, DSO, and his twin brother Major R. G. Gayer-Anderson, Pasha.
Object history
From the Gayer-Anderson Collection.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This painting by an anonymous Indian artist was probably done in Mysore. It depicts Tipu Sultan, ruler of Mysore from 1782 to 1799, who was defeated by the British at the Siege of Seringapatam. The V&A houses a mechanical organ that once belonged to him. It is in the shape of a European being mauled by a tiger and is known as 'Tippoo's Tiger'.

In the decades following Tipu Sultan's defeat and death, Delhi artists included the Mysore ruler in the series they often painted of famous Indian rulers. They seem to have used this portrait, which includes jewellery that is distinctively different from northern fashions, as a model. One such Delhi miniature is also in the V&A collection (646-1870).
Bibliographic References
  • Buddle, Anne (1990) Tigers round the Throne: The Court of Tipu Sultan (1750-1799), Zamana Gallery Publications, London, p16-17. Guy, J., and Swallow, D., (eds). ‘Arts of India: 1550-1900’. London : Victoria and Albert Museum, 1990. ISBN 1851770224.p. 184, pl.161. Archer, Mildred. Company Paintings Indian Paintings of the British period Victoria and Albert Museum Indian Series London: Victoria and Albert Museum, Maplin Publishing, 1992, 71 p. ISBN 0944142303 Stronge, Susan. Tipu's Tigers. V&A Publishing, 2009.
  • Swallow, Deborah and John Guy eds. Arts of India: 1550-1900. text by Rosemary Crill, John Guy, Veronica Murphy, Susan Stronge and Deborah Swallow. London : V&A Publications, 1990. 240 p., ill. p. 184, pl. 161 ISBN 1851770224
  • The Indian Heritage. Court life and Arts under Mughal Rule London: The Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982 Number: ISBN 0 906969 26 3Topsfield, Andrew, cat. no. 96
Collection
Accession Number
IS.266-1952

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
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