S. Sobha Singh Artist
    The painter of Divine
 
       
       
 
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LIFE HISTORY
 
 
     
 

DIVINE PAINTER S.SOBHA SINGH

 
One of the greatest Indian artists of twentieth century S.Sobha Singh was born on 29 November,1901 at Sri Hargobindpur(Gurdaspur), Punjab, India. It was here that he learned to draw and sculpt. In 1905, his mother Bibi Acchran died. His father S.Deva Singh died in 1917.He learnt and mastered painting by self practice. S.Sobha Singh joined the British Indian Army as draughtsman and was posted at various places in Iraq. He studied European paintings and got inspiration from the works of English painters.
 
 
Bibi Inder Kaur, wife of S.Sobha Singh
In 1923, he left the army and returned to Amritsar where he opened his art studio. In the same year, he married Bibi Inder Kaur on Baisakhi day. He worked from his studio at Amritsar, Lahore(1926) and Delhi(1931). At Delhi, S.Sobha Singh got opportunity to participate in art exhibitions and won awards and medals. Portrait paintings being his forte, he was commissioned for doing portraits of several rulers of Indian states.
 
       
 
   
 
In In 1946, S.Sobha Singh was back to Lahore and opened his studio at Anarkali and was working as art director for a film when he was forced to leave Lahore due to partition of the country in 1947.He came empty handed to Andretta, a picturesque village in the lap of Himalayas and stayed here till his last.
Bibi Gurcharan Kaur, daughter of S.Sobha Singh keenly observing him painting
 
     
 
During his 38 years stay at Andretta, S Sobha Singh painted hundreds of paintings. His main focus was Sikh Gurus, their life and work. His portraiture of Gurus was a manifestation of his devotion to the divine souls. He used to say, “ I have painted Gurus to inspire people.” He held Guru Nanak as manifestation of his meditation. He looked upon Guru Gobind Singh as is ‘inspiration incarnate.’ He also painted impressive portraits of national heroes like Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Kartar Singh Sarabha, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Mahatma Gandhi, etc. and also painted war heroes of Indian army. .
 
     
S.Sobha Singh painted Sohni Mehiwal, one of the most popular love legends of Punjab, first time in 1937.This paintings gave him immense fame. It was painted for the fifth time in the year 1978 and is on view at Sobha Singh Art Gallery, Andretta, Himachal Pradesh, India. S.Sobha Singh also worked on other love tales of Punjab. Heer Ranjha, Sassi-Punnun, Shirin Farhad and Mirza Sahiban are other beautiful paintings. Another fantastic creation is the portrayal of famous Persian poet Omar Khayyam. S.Sobha Singh had perfound regard for the dignity of womanhood. He painted a series of brides representing the folks of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. One of the most liked painting is, “Her Grace the Gaddan.” He has also executed landscapes. He also made some good statues which are on display in Sobha Singh Museum.
 
 
S.Sobha Singh got wide acclaim for his art which he pursued vigorously all his life. He got several awards and was felicitated by many organizations. He was honoured with ‘Padam Shree’ one of the national awards, by President of India. Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting released a documentary film, “Painter of People” to commemorate his 75th birthday. BBC, London also made a documentary on him. He was conferred the degree of D.Lit( honoris causa) by Punjabi University, Patiala.
 
 
The painter of people passed away on 22 August 1986 at Chandigarh and was cremated with full state honours. .
 
       
Sobha Singh Art Gallery and Museum at Andretta(Palampur), H.P.India 176103 (Tel +91-1894-254229, email: sobhasinghmuseum@gmail.com) is managed by his daughter Bibi Gurcharan Kaur. She is ably assisted by her son Dr.Hirday Paul Singh(hirdaypaulsingh@gmail.com) and his family.
 
     
 
Sobha Singh Art Gallery has around three dozen original works of the legendry artist. In the year 2011, Sobha Singh Museum has been added in the complex. Around 100 photographs depicting life journey of the artist are on display. Some of the personal belongings of the artist are also preserved here. On the availability of resources, the family has plans to convert the whole area used by the late artist, including his Studio, to Sobha Singh Memorial.There is proposal for ‘Artist’s Residency’ also. A section has been created for Kangra folk art and craft. “Prampara’, a souvenir shop has much to offer on the life, art and works of S.Sobha Singh. Mutlicolour reprints of his works on paper, archival paper or canvass are available. There are printed mugs, view cards and literature on the artist.
 
 
SOBHA SINGH MEMORIAL ART SOCIETY (SSMAS) commemorates birth anniversary of saint artist S.Sobha Singh evey year. Sobha Singh Art Festival was organised from 17-22 Nov. 2014 at Andretta. SSMAS organized several programmers to commemorate the birth centenary of the artist (Nov.2001 to Nov.2002). A beautiful souvenir containing rare articles, photos of the artist, paintings, etc, was published in addition to launching a web site. The Govt of India relesed a commemorative postal stamp, First Day cover and information brochure on him. The Govts. of Punjab & Himachal Pradesh instituted Sobha Singh Art Awards and published official calendars, books, special issues of the literary magazines, etc. on him. The road linking the Palampur town and Andretta and the local govt. High school have been renamed after him. His b' centenary was also celebrated in Canada, UK, Australia and USA etc.
First Day Cover and Postal Stamp released in Honour of S.Sobha Singh by Govt. of India
 
 
 
       
 
Some of the important re-prints available at Sobha Singh Art Gallery are : Sohni Mehiwal, Sohni-in-Heaven, Heer Ranjha, Kangra Bride, Her Grace The Gaddan, Last Desire Of Mumtaz Mahal (Origin Of Taj), Omar Khayyam,Pahari Bride,Punjabi Bride, Sisters of Spinning Wheel, Palace Of Bhutan, Guru Nanak Dev (Oval), G. Nanak (Hand Raised In Blessings), G. Nanak Dev (Eco Simro Nanka), G. Hargobind Sahib, G. Teg Bahadur, G. Gobind Singh (Oval), G. Gobind Singh (Chun Kar Aj Haman), G. Gobind Singh (At Anandpur Sahib), G. Gobind Singh (With Horse And Baaj), Shaheed-E-Azam Bhagat Singh.Bhagwan Ram, Lord Krishna, etc.

 
 
For reprints, books, information on Sobha Singh Art Gallery, Sobha Singh Memorial Art Society, etc
BEING HONOURED WITH PADMASHRI BY PRESIDENT OF INDIA.
 
 

E-MAIL To:

sobhasinghmuseum@gmail.com

hirdaypaulsingh@gmail.com

   

 

 
     
 
 

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