Jump to content
5akaalsingh

The lost Sikh turban style

Recommended Posts

Guest Jacfsing2
4 hours ago, jkvlondon said:

three portraits in the ones posted are of the modern era by a guy called Kailash Raj  Guru Teg Bahadur ji (I think at the top of the thread ) and two of Guru Har Rai ji they have earrings but interestingly in other portraits by same artist he has put Seli Topi and tilak on Guru Nanak Dev ji in some and Dastaar in others  so it seems there is no real consistent approach .

Guru Angad Dev ji:

de4bfa6c31efe430e494987f462ceacc.jpg

 

Guru Ram Das ji:

guru_ram_das__the_fourth_sikh_guru_hy13.

Guru Arjan Dev ji:

 

Guru Har Gobind Ji

ac446dca0ff507e259a1651a47ee4562.jpg

Ten Guru Sahiban :

f535b83d596f9532624e62a8e1b6a57b.jpg

point is that people are mixing modern in the style of mughal miniatures for purataan art

The Gur-Gaddi ceremony included a Tilak, the other things was a coconut and 5 passe. Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji himself never sat on an official/physical Gaddi, (throne); however one was made for the Gur-Gaddi of Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, jkvlondon said:

three portraits in the ones posted are of the modern era by a guy called Kailash Raj  Guru Teg Bahadur ji (I think at the top of the thread ) and two of Guru Har Rai ji they have earrings but interestingly in other portraits by same artist he has put Seli Topi and tilak on Guru Nanak Dev ji in some and Dastaar in others  so it seems there is no real consistent approach .

Guru Angad Dev ji:

de4bfa6c31efe430e494987f462ceacc.jpg

 

Guru Ram Das ji:

guru_ram_das__the_fourth_sikh_guru_hy13.

Guru Arjan Dev ji:

2e09d7022b8ae17a0f5503e06c6b23c5.jpg

Guru Har Gobind Ji

ac446dca0ff507e259a1651a47ee4562.jpg

Ten Guru Sahiban :

f535b83d596f9532624e62a8e1b6a57b.jpg

point is that people are mixing modern in the style of mughal miniatures for purataan art

Modern style Mughal miniatures are directly related to purataan art. There are many original paintings that have lot of similarities with the ones you posted. 

Artists usually copied older paintings, adding more colours

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Singh123456777 said:

Bhagat Singh tried tying a puratan style dumala. This was most like what the gurus from the 6th guru onwards wore adorned with jewels and kalgi etc.

The second pic is an old mughal chola that the Gurus most likely wore instead of the choleys we wear now days.

IMG_4547.PNG

IMG_6058.JPG

The turban tied by Bhagat Singh is a typical Mughal one. Same for the cholas of the Gurus. Sikhs however tied a different style. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Guru Sahibaan may have worn earrings, I don't know enough about Sikh art to say and I don't really believe its a big deal. 

But art isn't always a mirror of the truth, rather a reflection of the artist. There is no certainty that the Gurus commissioned these paintings of themselves, or that they were even present as subjects for the painter. How else does one explain all the portrayals of the same Guru which look completely different from one another? As OP has said, there is not enough consistency in these images for us to come to a conclusion about this. Every one of these paintings was painted well after the decease of the Gurus they depict, as well as by Pahari Hindu masters. Just as European artists are always representing Christ as a white guy, why wouldn't a Hindu or Mughal painter depict Guru Sahib in the manner of a Hindu Raja? Accuracy clearly wasn't the intention of these artists - that painting of Akali Phoola Singh posted earlier shows him wearing red garments when we know for a fact that Akalis were forbidden from wearing red as per puraatan rehtinamaay. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Balkaar said:

that painting of Akali Phoola Singh posted earlier shows him wearing red garments when we know for a fact that Akalis were forbidden from wearing red as per puraatan rehtinamaay. 

Well, Phula Singh was a chief. Maybe an exemption? and red was prominent colour amongst mainstream Sikhs, no matter what rehitname said. There is proof of this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, 5akaalsingh said:

Well, Phula Singh was a chief. Maybe an exemption? and red was prominent colour amongst mainstream Sikhs, no matter what rehitname said. There is proof of this.

Of course Singhji, but Phula Singh was a member of the orthodoxy of the faith, not the mainstream or the secular aristocracy/nobility. He may have worn red, but if the sources testifying to his religious zeal are to be believed then I have my doubts. The mainstream of any faith on the other hand has always interpreted the tenets of their religion more loosely. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Balkaar said:

But art isn't always a mirror of the truth, rather a reflection of the artist. There is no certainty that the Gurus commissioned these paintings of themselves, or that they were even present as subjects for the painter. How else does one explain all the portrayals of the same Guru which look completely different from one another? As OP has said, there is not enough consistency in these images for us to come to a conclusion about this. Every one of these paintings was painted well after the decease of the Gurus they depict, as well as by Pahari Hindu masters. Just as European artists are always representing Christ as a white guy, why wouldn't a Hindu or Mughal painter depict Guru Sahib in the manner of a Hindu Raja? Accuracy clearly wasn't the intention of these artists

I do agree with you on some points.  The Gurus did pose for painters, but most of these paintings have been lost. One thing we can be sure is that, Pahari art, at least the surviving pieces, has survived due to lots of copies of older ones were made by artists. 

Saying that I don't reject the use of metaphors in Pahari art

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, 5akaalsingh said:

I do agree with you on some points.  The Gurus did pose for painters, but most of these paintings have been lost. One thing we can be sure is that, Pahari art, at least the surviving pieces, has survived due to lots of copies of older ones were made by artists. 

Saying that I don't reject the use of metaphors in Pahari art

I'm no expert obviously, but I suspect that may be the reason why Pahari art can at times appear rather generic - the subjects always appear in the same sorts of garb, positions and poses. Perhaps they were intended for easy reproduction. And as reproductions become more prominent, artists may have wanted to insert details here and there marking the pieces as their own. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Balkaar said:

I'm no expert obviously, but I suspect that may be the reason why Pahari art can at times appear rather generic - the subjects always appear in the same sorts of garb, positions and poses. Perhaps they were intended for easy reproduction. And as reproductions become more prominent, artists may have wanted to insert details here and there marking the pieces as their own. 

Indeed. Copies usually had the usual addition of colours. For example, you can see the person in the same pose, same facial features but the garb would be changed. Instead of light colours, that were used in the prototypes, they added more bright ones. However, that also depended on the painting material the artist had. Living on hills meant shortage of material. That's why Sikh Empire era paintings had more colours. Maharaja Ranjit Singh gave patronage to many Pahari artists, giving birth to an artistic renaissance. Too bad, after the British, all that went lost.  

Now, we have to base on SGPC commissioned art, which has no resemblance to the beautiful traditional "desi" art.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Balkaar said:

I'm no expert obviously, but I suspect that may be the reason why Pahari art can at times appear rather generic - the subjects always appear in the same sorts of garb, positions and poses. Perhaps they were intended for easy reproduction. And as reproductions become more prominent, artists may have wanted to insert details here and there marking the pieces as their own. 

I believe you're on to something here. I think replication is a VERY common method of skills development for an artist. That would explain the similarity between images. But as you've suggested, the way an artist might place his/her own personal imprint on a work is by varying certain details like the clothes and colours. 

An interesting thing for me concerns the portrayals of Guru Tegh Bahadhur. All contemporary and near contemporary images have Guru ji in clearly regal attire and accoutrements (such as a hawk perched on their wrist), a portrayal most of us would associate with Guru Hargobind or Dasmesh pita ji. But I think Sobha Singh's recent, highly popular portrayal of nauvan padshah emphasising his bhagti, totally obliterated the old, contemporary image for the panth. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, dallysingh101 said:

I believe you're on to something here. I think replication is a VERY common method of skills development for an artist. That would explain the similarity between images. But as you've suggested, the way an artist might place his/her own personal imprint on a work is by varying certain details like the clothes and colours. 

An interesting thing for me concerns the portrayals of Guru Tegh Bahadhur. All contemporary and near contemporary images have Guru ji in clearly regal attire and accoutrements (such as a hawk perched on their wrist), a portrayal most of us would associate with Guru Hargobind or Dasmesh pita ji. But I think Sobha Singh's recent, highly popular portrayal of nauvan padshah emphasising his bhagti, totally obliterated the old, contemporary image for the panth. 

Now that you mention it it is odd. Guru Tegh Bahadur appears to be the only Guru whose persona underwent a complete overhaul in Sikh art. I suppose since all art is a reflection of the imagination, and since Guru Tegh Bahadur was known more for his bhagti than for any military feat (to my knowledge he undertook no campaigns against foes), this is how Sobha Singh imagined he must have looked. An honest mistake probably. 

This is a trend in contemporary Sikh art, artists representing the figures of our history based on what they know of them - and this knowledge very rarely incorporates puraatan itihaasic sources. This must be why you get all these paintings showing Singhs decked out in flashy armor like the Desi Knights Templar, when historical sources are pretty unanimous that they dressed very lightly in that period - wore barely anything except their kakkars. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, 5akaalsingh said:

Indeed. Copies usually had the usual addition of colours. For example, you can see the person in the same pose, same facial features but the garb would be changed. Instead of light colours, that were used in the prototypes, they added more bright ones. However, that also depended on the painting material the artist had. Living on hills meant shortage of material. That's why Sikh Empire era paintings had more colours. Maharaja Ranjit Singh gave patronage to many Pahari artists, giving birth to an artistic renaissance. Too bad, after the British, all that went lost.  

Now, we have to base on SGPC commissioned art, which has no resemblance to the beautiful traditional "desi" art.

It's true, and unfortunate, but the British were at one point very keen on documenting the Sikhs (for purposes of recon I suppose, getting to know the enemy). We wouldn't know half the stuff we do about the era of the Sikhs Misls and Empire if not for their drawings and accounts -  apnaay have always been notoriously bad at documenting and preserving their itihaas. Just look at all the historical buildings, frescoes and artworks which our lot have destroyed, painted over or replaced with their beloved tacky white marble. We seem to have lost most of our creativity as a people. 

Edited by Balkaar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, 5akaalsingh said:

Modern style Mughal miniatures are directly related to purataan art. There are many original paintings that have lot of similarities with the ones you posted. 

Artists usually copied older paintings, adding more colours

he has said that it is all his kalpana , not copies ...he also does many many devi devtey , muslim calligraphy and mughal style portraits like shah Jahan , Aurangzeb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Balkaar said:

Now that you mention it it is odd. Guru Tegh Bahadur appears to be the only Guru whose persona underwent a complete overhaul in Sikh art. I suppose since all art is a reflection of the imagination, and since Guru Tegh Bahadur was known more for his bhagti than for any military feat (to my knowledge he undertook no campaigns against foes), this is how Sobha Singh imagined he must have looked. An honest mistake probably. 

This is a trend in contemporary Sikh art, artists representing the figures of our history based on what they know of them - and this knowledge very rarely incorporates puraatan itihaasic sources. This must be why you get all these paintings showing Singhs decked out in flashy armor like the Desi Knights Templar, when historical sources are pretty unanimous that they dressed very lightly in that period - wore barely anything except their kakkars. 

Guru ji went to battle as a youth thus his name from Tyag Mal to Teg Bahadur...but his true essence was to be tied to Akal Purakh's charan

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever the art style and period, I've always been struck by the depiction of Guru Tegh Bahadhur, which seems to be fairly standardised throughout the centuries. The grey / white streak in their beard underneath the bottom lip is a common distinguishing feature in various portraits of theirs. It's a pretty specific detail. Is that something that's been mentioned in a sakhi, etc?

Edited by MisterrSingh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×