Title: Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Date: 19th century
Dimensions: H. 16 in. x W. 13 in.
Museum number: S.M.66 (N.M.1961.348)
Physical location: Section 1: Paintings, Prints, and Photographs
Collection: Princess Bamba Collection
Inscriptions: The inscription copied below appears above the image, in reverse.
Tasvīr bā tauqīr bādshah Ferīdūn jāh Mahārājāh Ranjīt Singh bahādur baikunṭh bāshī waqt sawārī
(An equestrian image of the Honorable King of Faridun’s dignity (a celebrated king of ancient Persia), the Brave Maharaja Ranjit Singh, dweller of Vishnu’s paradise.)
Bibliographic Reference(s): F. A. Khan, The Princess Bamba Collection Catalogue: Antiquities of Sikh Period (Lahore: Department of Archaeology, 1961), 11, cat. no. 57.
This is a flipped or inverted photographic print of a miniature painting by an unknown artist. The photographer making the print appears to have been unable to read the Persian inscription in the top section and used the wrong side of the negative therefore laterally inverted it.
The Maharaja is shown wearing a fine light-coloured qabā or gown with a wide embroidered border over a jāma (long gown) of a darker tone. The sleeves of his jāma also appear to be embellished with embroidery. He sits majestically holding the reigns of his steed in his hands with his eyes focused on something ahead of him. As expected from such a portrait, the saddle blanket and the horse trapping are elaborately ornamented.