Sunday, 11 September 2011

Sothebys to auction Sikh paintings

As part of the Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art including Indian Miniature Paintings. Many miniatures are on sale including depictions from the Ramayan and other Indian themes. As part of this sale, Sotheby's is to auction the sale of Sikh paintings in New York City on  Thursday,15 September, 2011.

Lot 76: Sikh Emperor Maharaja Ranjit Singh: The painting is listed as being Circa 1850, however the Maharaja passed away in 1839. Price:$25,000-30,000.

The extremely fine Portrait Of The Sikh Emperor Maharaja Ranjit Singh depicts the Maharaja seated on a gilded chair, richly bejeweled with a rosary in one hand and his sword resting on his lap. Ranjit Singh was one of the most powerful rulers in India in the nineteenth century. By the time of his death in 1839, he ruled a vast swath of territory in north-western India encompassing the entire Punjab region, Kashmir, and even parts of neighboring Afghanistan.

This portrait is remarkable not just for the quality of its detailing but also the skill with which the artist captures the nature of his sitter. Ranjit Singh lost an eye at a young age after being afflicted with smallpox. However, in the words of his foreign minister Fakir Azizuddin, the splendor and luminosity of his single eye was so much that the loss of the other was unnoticeable. His face was described as being radiant like the sun and as can be seen in the way this artist has captured the bright and alert countenance of his sitter.

Lot 77: Sikh Ruler with a holy Man: Circa 1840. Price estimate-$30,000-£50,000 Sothebys cites the ruler as being Patiala's Maharaja Narinder Singh.  Stating, possibly of the Kingdom of Patiala - is shown, surrounded by his courtiers in a sumptuous indoor setting, engaged in a conversation with a mendicant.

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