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Kharak Singh

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Punjab Plain (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:

    In Storage

Maharaja Kharak Singh (1801–1840) was the eldest son of the first Sikh maharaja of the Panjab, Ranjit Singh (1780–1839). He was brought up in the family’s martial traditions and given nominal command of an expedition at the age of six. He succeeded his father in June 1839, but was caught up in plotting between different court factions. By October 1839 he was a virtual prisoner of Dhian Singh, his father’s prime minister and a member of the Hindu Dogra family. Always frail in constitution, he was slowly poisoned, finalled dying on 5 November 1840.

This painting was formerly in the collection of Lord Auckland, Governor-General of India from 1836 to 1842. It was given to the V&A in 1953 by Lord Auckland’s great-nephew, O.E. Dickinson.

Physical description

Painting, Maharaja Kharak Singh, in yellow turban, dark green coat, white jama and green trousers rides a white stallion with dark red saddlecloth edged with gold. He faces left. An attendant in white with reddish-brown turban and red trousers holds a red parasol over his head.

Place of Origin

Punjab Plain (made)


ca. 1838 - ca. 1840 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

Marks and inscriptions

"Rajah Khurruck Singh"
This English inscription is in the same hand as on IS.111-1953.


Height: 57.3 cm frame, Width: 42.1 cm frame, Depth: 3 cm frame

Object history note

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

Descriptive line

Painting, Kharak Singh on horseback, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Sikh, Punjab Plain, ca. 1838-1840

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

cat. 89, fig. 21.
Paintings of the Sikhs / W.G. Archer. London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1966

Production Note



Opaque watercolour; Gold; Paper



Subjects depicted

Ruler; Turbans; Parasols; Servant; Equestrian; Horses


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


South & South East Asia Collection

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