Painting

Raja Nau Nihal Singh and Raja Dhian Singh

ca. 1838 - ca. 1840 (made)

Unknown

Height: 20.3 cm painting, Width: 14.6 cm painting, Height: 25.7 cm including border, Width: 19.8 cm including border

IS.116-1953 SSEA

Painting, Raja Nau Nihal Singh with Raja Dhian Singh, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Sikh, Punjab Plain, ca. 1838-1840

Painting, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Raja Nau Nihal Singh (1821-1840) is seated in a chair facing Raja Dhian Singh (1796-1843), who is seated on the ground.

Nau Nihal Singh (1821–1840) was the grandson of Ranjit Singh, the first Sikh maharaja of the Panjab. He sits on a western-style chair typical of those in use at the Sikh court at this time. His Hindu companion, Dhian Singh (1796–1843), Ranjit Singh’s prime minister, is seated at his feet. Nau Nihal Singh was Ranjit Singh’s favourite grandson and took part in military expeditions on his behalf. After Ranjit Singh’s death in 1839, Nau Nihal’s father, Kharak Singh, became maharaja, but immediately became caught up in factional rivalries at court and was soon the victim of plotting by the Dogra family, which included Dhian Singh. Dhian Singh and his supporters were involved in the poisoning of Kharak Singh and, on the day of his death, also murdered Nau Nihal Singh. This painting was formerly in the Collection of Lord Auckland, Governor-General of India from 1836 to 1842. It was given to the V&A in 1953 by his great-nephew, O.E. Dickinson.

This painting was formerly in the collection of Lord Auckland, Governor-General of India from 1836-1842, and was brought back by him to England in 1842. It was given to the museum in 1953 by his great-nephew, O.E. Dickinson.

Given by O.E. Dickinson

Location: Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case TECHS

View this object on the V&A website