Sobha Singh (India, 1901-1986) Wine Drinking; Shiva's Devotee (2)

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Lot 222
Sobha Singh (India, 1901-1986)
Wine Drinking; Shiva's Devotee
(2)

Sold for £ 5,687 (US$ 7,443) inc. premium
Sobha Singh (India, 1901-1986)
Wine Drinking; Shiva's Devotee
gouache on silk, both signed upper left, the second with Simla Fine Arts Society label on backboard
457 x 330 mm.; 440 x 313 mm.(2)

Footnotes

  • Exhibited
    Simla Fine Arts Society, circa 1935.

    These two paintings - apparently the earliest known works by the artist - are in 'an accomplished but somewhat sugary style that reminds us of Edmund Dulac', as Partha Mitter describes it (The Triumph of Modernism: India's artists and the avant-garde 1922-1947, London 2007, p. 146). They contrast with his rather harder-edged depictions of the Sikh Gurus, for which he is best known (see for example a painting of Guru Nanak sold in these rooms: Bonhams, Islamic and Indian Art, 23rd April 2013, lot 347).

    The label gives the artist's name and address (describing him as an 'amateur'), the title, and the price (Rs 225). The address, Karol Bagh, Delhi, gives us an approximate date for the pictures, since Sobha Singh lived there between 1931 and 1941. (See Kulwant Singh Khokhar, Sobha Singh: Artist, Patiala 1995, pp. 24-28). The Simla Fine Arts Society had a membership composed mostly of army officers, which largely broke up after the Japanese began to threaten Burma and India itself from 1942 onwards. Amrita Sher Gil also exhibited there: an identical printed label was attached to a painting by her sold at Sotheby's New York, Indian and Southeast Asian Art, 22nd September 2000.

    Sobha Singh was one the best known Sikh artists of the 20th Century, and is sometimes grouped together with the 'Punjab naturalists', who include Allah Bukhsh and S. G. Thakur Singh. In addition to his pictures of the leaders of the Sikh religion he is well known for his depictions of scenes from Punjabi folk tales, and his landscape scenes of the foothills and mountain peaks of the Himalayas. For a larger work, in oil on board, sold in these rooms, see Bonhams, Islamic and Indian Art, 2nd October 2012, lot 210.
Contacts
Sobha Singh (India, 1901-1986) Wine Drinking; Shiva's Devotee (2)
Sobha Singh (India, 1901-1986) Wine Drinking; Shiva's Devotee (2)
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