The Sons of Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu
Artist/maker unknown, Indian
According to the information on its border, which is a later addition, this portrait shows the sons of Raja Gulab Singh (reigned 1820-1857), the Sikh ruler of Jammu and Kashmir. If the text is accurate, the painting probably depicts the ruler's two older sons, Udham and Sohan. Their high status is communicated in clear, decisive terms. Positioned at the center of a floral-patterned textile, they occupy a prominent space in the composition. The attendants stand on the red borders of the rug, suggestive of their comparatively lower station. Even nature is put to ideological uses. A large tree rises in between the two princes, separating the elder, more privileged brother from the younger.