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Maharaja Gulab Singh

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Lahore (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1846 - ca. 1847 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Maharaja Gulab Singh (1792-1857) of Jammu (later Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir), left, sits kneeling, facing his third son, Ranbir Singh, who kneels before him. Gulab Singh was a member of the Hindu Dogra family who served under Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the first Sikh ruler of the Panjab, the region now divided between India and Pakistan. Gulab Singh was a fine soldier, and was allowed by Ranjit Singh to succeed his father as ruler of Jammu in 1822. Following Ranjit Singh's death in 1839, the unity of the kingdom rapidly disintegrated, and Gulab Singh began to misappropriate the revenues of the territories assigned to his care. He finally passed on military intelligence to the British on the eve of the first Anglo-Sikh war (1845-46). After the British victory he was given control of all the hill country and its dependencies between the rivers Indus and Ravi. He became a British vassal whose supremacy he acknowledged.

Physical description

Painting, in opaque watercolour on paper, Maharaja Gulab Singh left, sits kneeling, facing his third son, Ranbir Singh, who kneels before him to the right. Each is dressed in white. Behind Gulab Singh is a crimson cushion edged with green.

Place of Origin

Lahore (made)


ca. 1846 - ca. 1847 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour on paper


Length: 222 mm, Width: 156 mm, Length: 298 mm with borders, Width: 240 mm with borders

Object history note

Bought from Sir Arthur Chester Beatty in 1956

Descriptive line

Painting, Maharaja Gulab Singh with his son, opaque watercolour on paper, Lahore, ca. 1846-1847

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

cat. 26, pp. 148-9 and illus. fig. 57.
Paintings of the Sikhs / W.G. Archer. London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1966

Labels and date


Production Note

Sikh period


Opaque watercolour; Paint; Paper



Subjects depicted

Rulers; Canopies (structural elements); Men


Paintings; Royalty; Sikhism; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

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