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Raja Dhian Singh

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Punjab Plain (made)
    Lahore (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1838 (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

This portrait depicts Raja Dhian Singh (1796-1843) and was painted by an unknown artist in the Sikh kingdom of the Panjab, probably in about 1838. The region, now divided between India and Pakistan, flourished under the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (r. 1801-1839) and attracted artists from the Hindu kingdoms of the nearby Punjab Hills.
Senior members of the court circle were as likely to be Hindus or Muslims as Sikhs, and Raja Dhian Singh was a member of the influential Hindu Dogra family. He was close to Ranjit Singh, and in 1818 was appointed "deorhidar" or chamberlain of the royal household. By 1827 he had become the principal minister of the Maharaja. The painting was from the collection of Lord Auckland (Governor-General of India from 1836 to 1842), who visited the Sikh court in 1838. He brought the painting back to to England in 1842, and it was given to the museum by his great-nephew, O.E. Dickinson, in 1953.

Physical description

Painting, in opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Raja Dhian Singh (1796-1843) seated on a chair on a terrace.

Place of Origin

Punjab Plain (made)
Lahore (probably, made)


ca. 1838 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Rajah Dhen Singh'
Written in English in the same hand as IS.111-1953


Length: 237 mm page maximum, Width: 154 mm page maximum, Height: 182 mm image within innermost painted borders, Width: 101 mm image within innermost painted borders

Object history note

Formerly in the collection of Lord Auckland, Governor-General of India 1836-1842, and brought back by him to England in 1842. It was given to the museum by his great-nephew, O.E. Dickinson.

Descriptive line

Painting, Raja Dhian Singh, Punjab Plains, probably Lahore, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, ca. 1838-1840

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

pl. 30, and pp. 137-138.
Paintings of the Sikhs / W.G. Archer. London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1966

Production Note



Opaque watercolour; Gold; Paper



Subjects depicted

Rulers (people); Chairs


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


South & South East Asia Collection

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