Online Collection

Collections



Asian Art Museum Logo
Portraits of Maharaja Karam Singh of Patiala and his son
Place of Origin: India, Punjab state, former kingdom of Patiala
Date: approx. 1840
Materials: Opaque waterclors on paper
Dimensions: H. 11 in x W. 8 in, H. 28 cm x W. 20.3 cm
Credit Line: Gift of the Kapany Collection
Department: South Asian Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: 1998.62
On Display: No
Culture: Sikh

Description

Label:

This image blends elements of traditional Indian royal portraiture with some awareness of European-style presentation. An inscription in a cartouche identifies Maharaja Karam Singh (reigned 1813–1845), and the small figure accompanying him in matching dress may be understood as his son. The maharaja is seated in profile, his head in a turban and surrounded by a halo, as is typical for depicting Sikh royalty; his chair, however, is of European style and his military-type garments also reflect British influence. At the top and bottom of the image are the sumptuous textiles for which Sikh courts were renowned. The Indian artist has placed his subject in a receding space, enhancing the sense of intimate viewing and adding to the eclectic nature of the image.

Patiala was and remains an important cultural center for the Sikhs. Karam Singh himself built shrines in honor of the gurus and endowed their maintenance.


More Information

Exhibition History: "The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms", Royal Ontario Museum, 5/25/2000 - 8/20/2000

"Saints and Kings: Arts, Culture, and Legacy of the Sikhs", Asian Art Museum, 3/10/2017 - 6/18/2017
Label:

This image blends elements of traditional Indian royal portraiture with some awareness of European-style presentation. An inscription in a cartouche identifies Maharaja Karam Singh (reigned 1813–1845), and the small figure accompanying him in matching dress may be understood as his son. The maharaja is seated in profile, his head in a turban and surrounded by a halo, as is typical for depicting Sikh royalty; his chair, however, is of European style and his military-type garments also reflect British influence. At the top and bottom of the image are the sumptuous textiles for which Sikh courts were renowned. The Indian artist has placed his subject in a receding space, enhancing the sense of intimate viewing and adding to the eclectic nature of the image.

Patiala was and remains an important cultural center for the Sikhs. Karam Singh himself built shrines in honor of the gurus and endowed their maintenance.


Exhibition History: "The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms", Royal Ontario Museum, 5/25/2000 - 8/20/2000

"Saints and Kings: Arts, Culture, and Legacy of the Sikhs", Asian Art Museum, 3/10/2017 - 6/18/2017