Title: H.H. Major Duleep Singh G.C.S.I.
Classification: Oil painting
Artist(s): Capt. Goldingham
Date: c. 1875
Dimensions: H. 78 in. x W. 54 in.
Museum number: S.M.70 (N.M.1961.350)
Physical location: Section 5: Rani Jindan's Haveli
Collection: Princess Bamba Collection
F. A. Khan, The Princess Bamba Collection Catalogue: Antiquities of Sikh Period (Lahore: Department of Archaeology, 1961), 7, cat. no. 6.
F. S. Aijazuddin, Sikh Portraits by European Artists (Karachi: OUP, 1979), plate VIII.
Maharaja Duleep Singh’s pose in this oil painting by J. A. Goldingham is closely comparable to an earlier portrait commissioned by Queen Victoria and painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter (on display in the Durbar Corridor, Osborne House, Buckingham Palace, London). While we see the Maharaja as an eighteen year young man in Winterhalter’s painting, Goldingham captures him as a middle-aged mature man. Other similarities between the two paintings include the colours and materials of the costumes including the brocade turbans as well as some jewellery pieces such as the pearl strings and the miniature portrait of Queen Victoria hanging from them. Aijazuddin notes that this portrait was given to Duleep Singh by Lord Hardinge.
One interesting difference between the two portraits is the addition of several military service medals in Goldingham’s painting—the K.S.I. & the G.C.S.I. Duleep Singh received the title of K.S.I (Knight of the Order of the Star of India) on June 25, 1861 and was given G.C.S.I. (Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India) on May 24, 1866. The latter medal and decorations include the Collar of the Order of the Star of India with a cameo of the youthful Queen Victoria. Interestingly, Goldingham shows Duleep Singh wearing a ring with a similar cameo on his left hand.
A print of this painting is in the British Museum collection (registration number 2010,7081.3970).