Book Title: Sobha Singh artist: Life and legacy
Author: Hirday Paul Singh
THE magic of eminent artist Sobha Singh continues to live on even after his death in 1986. However, for the lack of a holistic account of his life and times, his grandson Hirday Paul Singh has taken it upon himself to pen a portrait of his grandfather, the various influences that impacted his art and his philosophy.
Despite an uneasy childhood, Sobha Singh rose to become a widely loved and respected artist with innumerable admirers. Though a renowned artist, several other facets of his persona have mostly remained unknown. The author says this biography is an extension of his mission to preserve and propagate Sobha Singh’s legacy.
Based on information available in the artist’s diaries, the book is divided into two parts. The first takes an indepth look at his childhood, the struggles and his awakening. The search for a wider canvas took him to Amritsar and then Delhi, where his famous ‘Sohni-Mahiwal’ painting was made, taking him to great artistic heights. He was to, however, find peace at Andretta near Palampur in Himachal Pradesh, where he settled in 1947 and stayed for 39 years. In all these years spent there, Sikh Gurus remained the focus of his work.
Part two of the book takes a look at Sobha Singh’s works, his major paintings and other creative endeavours, including sculpture and poetry. An interesting chapter is the one dedicated to writings on the artist. Prominent among his patrons were Dr Karan Singh, the Maharaja of Porbandar and the Nizam of Hyderabad, who acquired his works for the Salar Jung Museum.