Title: Maharaja Duleep Singh
Classification: Watercolour painting
Artist(s): P. C. Trench
Dimensions: H. 17.5 in. x W. 21 in.
Museum number: S.M.99 (N.M.1961.379)
Physical location: Section 1: Paintings, Prints, and Photographs
Collection: Princess Bamba Collection
Inscriptions: “MUHA RAJA DULLEEP SINGH [tab] Mussoorie [tab] 1853 [tab] P. C, Trench"
Bibliographic Reference(s): F. A. Khan, The Princess Bamba Collection Catalogue: Antiquities of Sikh Period (Lahore: Department of Archaeology, 1961), 10, cat. no. 44.
This watercolour painting depicts the teenager Duleep Singh astride a beautiful chestnut pony captured in a rhythmic gallop in a hilly area with a few large trees behind him. This was painted by P.C. Trench during the Maharaja’s trips to the hill station Mussoorie (in present day Uttarkhand, India) in the summer months of 1852 and 1853. Duleep Singh made these trips from Fattehgarh where he had been put up after his departure from Lahore in December 1849. The site shown in the painting could be the Castle Hill Estate near Landour Bazaar where he resided during these trips.
The young Maharaja wears a blue jacket over a contrasting deep orange shirt and navy blue trousers with a broad golden vertical stripe running down the length of the trousers on each leg. The speed of the horse is in stark contrast with the static pose of its rider who calmly faces the artist to his right holding the light-coloured rein in his hands. The loosely dangling reigns also take away from the mount otherwise shown in full gallop.