Portrait of Raja Amur Singh of Patiala
This portrait of the ruler Amur Singh of Patiala, an important Sikh kingdom, shows the king seated on a terrace on a luxurious carpet with a large bolster behind him. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Punjab region of northern India, previously led by Hindu rulers, was overtaken by rulers who belonged to the Sikh religion. These new leaders borrowed select elements of courtly culture from their predecessors, and they hired many of the same artist families to make portraits for them (other subjects largely fell out of favor). Amur Singh’s turban is taller than those of Hindu rulers of the time, because it needs to accommodate his long hair: Sikh men are not supposed to cut their hair, and they wear it bundled on top of their head, wrapped in a turban.
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
sheet: 10 11/16 x 7 9/16 in. (27.1 x 19.2 cm)
image: 7 1/2 x 4 13/16 in. (19.1 x 12.2 cm) (show scale)
Inscription in devanagari on verso: Raja Amar Singh of Patialewala
Verso, at upper center, in black ink, in Devanagari script: illegible; at middle center, in black ink, in Urdu (?): illegible; at lower center, in blue ink, in Devanagari script: Raja Amar Singh of Patiala.
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Gift of Emily Manheim Goldman
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Indian. Portrait of Raja Amur Singh of Patiala, ca. 1830. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, sheet: 10 11/16 x 7 9/16 in. (27.1 x 19.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Emily Manheim Goldman, 1991.180.7 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.1991.180.7.jpg)
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