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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Maharaja Ranjit Singh's Horse with a One-Eyed Groom
Work Type
c. 1840
Creation Place: South Asia, Pakistan, Punjab, Lahore
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Opaque watercolor, gold and metallic gray pigment
18 x 22.6 cm (7 1/16 x 8 7/8 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Stuart Cary Welch (by 1983 - 2008,) by descent; to his estate (2008-2009,) gift; to Harvard Art Museum.

Object was part of long-term loan to Museum in 1983.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Stuart Cary Welch Collection, Gift of Edith I. Welch in memory of Stuart Cary Welch
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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The painting depicts the horse of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (r. 1801-1839), the first maharaja of the Sikhs of the Punjab. The caparisoned horse is white, gray, and dappled. A groomsman stands in front of the horse, holding onto the blue reins with both hands. He wears a long, white tunic and an orange turban and waist sash. He has a small mustache and appears to be missing his left eye. Ranjit Singh himself was also blind in his left eye since childhood as a result of smallpox. This work was executed on paper made in England and bearing a watermark of 1839, the year of Ranjit Singh’s death.

Publication History

  • Stuart Cary Welch, Room for Wonder : Indian Painting During the British Period, 1760-1880, exh. cat., American Federation of Arts (New York, NY, 1978), Page 122-123/Figure 54
  • Samina Quraeshi, Lahore: The City Within, Concept Media Pte Ltd (Singapore, 1988), page 107

Exhibition History

  • Poignant, Picturesque, and Berserk Northern Indian Paintings and Objects of the Seventeenth through Nineteenth Centuries, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/08/1992 - 10/04/1992
  • The Way I Remember Them: Paintings by Nusra Latif Qureshi, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, 02/20/2004 - 04/25/2004

Verification Level

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