This awe-inspiring miniature, part of a collection of 111 paintings belonging to Sir William Rothenstein, was described at the Art Fund report of 1952 as the 'greatest Sikh picture ever to have been painted'.

It depicts Gulab Singh (1792-1857), Maharaja of the of Jammu and Kashmir, the Sikh territory ceded by the British at the Treaty of Lahore in 1846. Seated and resplendently clad in a multi-colored turban, imposing white robe and orange-red trousers, he holds the hilt of his sword in one hand and a sprig of flowers in the other. Behind him rests his shield. The miniature achieves to intimidate in the powerful resolute grin leaving the viewer in no doubt that the sitter is both powerful and menacing.

Provenance

Collection of Sir William Rothenstein.


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