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Title: Darbar of Maharaja Ranjit Singh

Classification: Oil painting

Artist(s): August Schoefft (1809–1888)

Date: 1841–1855

Dimensions: H. 120 in. x W. 192 in.

Museum number: S.M.100 (N.M.1961.380) 

Physical location: Section 5: Rani Jindan's Haveli

Collection: Princess Bamba Collection

Bibliographic Reference(s):
F. A. Khan, The Princess Bamba Collection Catalogue: Antiquities of Sikh Period (Lahore: Department of Archaeology, 1961), plate XII (cat. no. 1).

F. S. Aijazuddin, Sikh Portraits by European Artists (Karachi: OUP, 1979), plate IX.

This oil painting shows Maharaja Ranjit Singh receiving naẕrāna (offering) in the marble pavilion known as Ath-dara just outside the Sheesh Mahal pavilions in the Musamman Burj (Octagonal Tower), Lahore Fort. Members of the royal family and the court, as well as high officials of the state, including European military officers, are all present.

Measuring an impressive 192 inches (16 feet) in width and 100 inches (8.3 feet) in height, this painting is considered the Hungarian artist August Schoefft's masterpiece. The painting is based on the sketches and drawings he made in Lahore in 1841. It was completed between 1845–1855 in his studio back home. According to The Princess Bamba Collection Catalogue, this painting was once on display at the British Museum (p. 7). At present, it is on display in Maharani Jindan's haveli in the Lahore Fort.

For identification of the characters depicted in this painting, please see, F.S. Aijazuddin, Sikh Portraits by European Artists (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1979).

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