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Sobha Singh - Painter of The Divine (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: NAS639
Author: Madanjit Kaur
Publisher: Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
Edition: 1987
Pages: 308 (40 Color and 43 Color Illustrations)
Other Details 9.50 X 7.00 inch
Weight 850 gm
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Book Description

Sobha Singh-the celebrated Sikh artist of our times-was beyond doubt the product of renaissance that the land of Punjab witnessed in the early part of this century. He struggled his way to glory as an artist despite the inhospitable milieu. The artist in Sobha Singh was itching to come out; when he found time to study books on European painting. But the real opportunity came later when he had to paint for making a living. The inspiration for crea-tive painting came to him when he watched the Sikh Satyagrahis of Guru-Ka-Bagh Morcha with untainted religious fervour and deter-mination, marching only to receive worst beating at the hands of British police officials.

In fact, the dedication of those involved in the Gurudwara Reform Movement made Sobha Singh look to the source of their inspiration. Thus the Sikh Gurus became the principal theme of his paintings. The Sikh painting is chiefly known as an art of portraiture and Sobha Singh stands out as modern representative of this art. He tried to delve deep into the teachings of the Sikh Gurus in an attempt to catch the real image of the Gurus. The various paintings of the Gurus done by Sobha Singh tend to reflect how he yearned to have a vision of the Gurus so that he could reproduce it on the canvas. His concern for the divine did not take him away from the beauty that inspires the artist. He also painted the famous love legends of Punjab. Sohni-Mahival brought him recognition and money. "Sassi in search of Punnu in the desert" is another painting for which Sobha Singh became famous. Sobha Singh had known a Punjabi lass in the village and the city. He admired her beauty, strength, doggedness and of course modesty. He was one of those few painters who could catch the real beauty of the Punjabi woman at home and as beloved.

Sobha Singh will live forever prominently as the painter of the Sikh divine. Through his paintings he tried to create such an imagery of the Sikh Gurus that could really project the teachings and lives of the Gurus. That he could paint Guru Nanak in ecstasy and Guru Gobind Singh on the horse back in full attire of a warrior with equal excellence is indicative of the accomplishment of his imaginative genius. This has indeed to be admired as perfection of an artist and a feat of worldly being.

Sobha Singh beyond doubt was a front rank artist who has attained a unique place among the glaxy of the outstanding artists of modern India. Although he painted Rama, Krishna and Christ also; but as a popular image maker of the Sikh Gurus, he will be revered by the future generation of the Sikhs. Honours did come Sobha Singh's way during his life time. He was the recipient of President of India's Padma Sri Award. In fact, many an institution vied with each other to associate their name with the great artist but it fell to the Guru Nanak Dev University to undertake compilation of a volume on his life and work. By presenting this volume to the lovers of art, the University is redeeming a pledge taken at the time of his death.


Sardar Sobha Singh dedicated his whole life to the pursuit of Art. Taking up painting in his early youth without the guidance of any master, the painter in Sobha Singh found inspiration and guidance from within. His inner urge found purposeful expression in his drawings and colours. He did painting to convey ideas and mystic experience. S. Sobha Singh's range covers nature, landscape, love-legends, and portraits of prophets, saints and national heroes for which he is greatly respected. They show him at his best and convey his sensibility extremely well. They reveal a distinct style and mood. They are tender, expressive and intensely humane. That is why his paintings of the Sikh Gurus are highly valued and cherished as a great treasure. Besides, there are other paintings to his credit which mark him out as an artist of great skill and imagination. It is in the fitness of things that the Universities of the Punjab should honour such an artist for his calibre and fame. It gives me intense pleasure to place this book before the reading public by way of tribute, though it falls short of doing full justice to his great talent and immortal contribution to the Punjab Art.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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