Title: Raja Gulab Singh
Classification: Watercolour painting
Date: 19th century
Dimensions: H. 26 in. x W. 21 in.
Museum number: 1247
Physical location: Section 1: Paintings, Prints, and Photographs
This watercolour painting shows Raja Gulab Singh (1792–1857), the founder of the Dogra dynasty of Kashmir. He was one of the three Dogra brothers who served Maharaja Ranjit Singh in different capacities. He was made the raja of Jammu in 1820 while his younger brother Raja Dhyan Singh rose to become the Maharaja’s prime minister and the youngest, Raja Suchet Singh, was admired by the Sikh ruler for his military services as well as good looks.
Gulab Singh is shown seated against an embellished yellow bolster with deep orange sides. He wears a white jāma (a long gown) embellished with gold embroidery and a green pā-jāma (long drawers). His green turban is edged with gold complimented by a deep orange scarf hanging from his right shoulder. His gold jewellery studded with gems and pearls includes earrings, a necklace, a pair of bāzū-bands (around his right forearm), a sar-pesh (turban ornament), bracelet and rings in both little fingers. Slung on his back is a black leather shield (dhāl) studded with four large golden bosses.