Maharaja Ranjit Singh By Emily Eden (1844)

This is a lithograph from Emily Eden's 'Portraits of the Princes and People of India'. Ranjit Singh, the founder of the Sikh Kingdom in 1799, was one of the most celebrated Punjabi rulers. Eden described the 'Lion of Punjab': "He retained a perfect simplicity, or rather plainness of appearances, while his Chiefs and Courtiers around him wore the most brilliant draperies and a rich profusion of jewels. His manners were always quiet, and he spoke chiefly ... He had the use of only one eye. Which age, and and hard life of exposure and excesses, had dimmed ... but it still retained the traces of the vigour and penetration for which he was remarkable".