Sobha Singh

Sobha Singh was born on 29 November 1901,in Sri Hargobindpur (Gurdaspur) in a Sikh Ramgarhia family.He mastered and self practiced to paint.At the age of 15,Sobha Singh studied in industrial school, Amritsar,for a year in fine arts and craft.Later on he joined the British Army as a draughtsman and was posted in Iraq .He studied European style of painting while he was there. Later on ,he adopted the Western style technique in his oil paintings. Sobha Singh left the army in 1923 and returned to Amritsar where he started his own studio.He married Bibi Inder Kaur in the same year on baisakhi day.In 1926, he went to Lahore and in 1931 he moved to Delhi .At Delhi ,he participated in many art exhibitions and won several awards for his work. In 1946,he went back to Lahore and started his own studio and worked as an art director for the film Anarkali. Sobha singh was forced to leave Lahore due to partition of the country. In 1949, he settled down in Andretta,a small place 12 km from Palampur,in the Kangra valley,and began his carrier as a painter.The sobha singh art gallery is one of the noted attraction of the city Palampur. Sobha Singh was skilled in the western classic oil painting. He is well known for his themes from the romantic folk lore of Punjab like Sohni-Mahiwal and Heer-Ranjha.He also painted portraits of national heroes like Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Mahatma Gandhi etc. Sobha Singh also dabbled in sculpturing too. The Indian parliament at New Delhi has his murals displayed in the art gallery.During his 38 years,his most renowned paintings was his series of the Sikh Gurus. Sobha singh painted Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the year 1969 on the 500th birth anniversary .Thereafter he painted the other gurus too. But his most famous paintings are that of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Sobha Singh died in 1986 on 21st august in Chandigarh.He had some unfulfilled dreams that his only heir,his daughter,Gurcharan Kaur had almost given up requesting the authorities and has started looking towards well wishers and her own resources for setting up the Sobha Singh Memorial at Andretta – a picturesque village near Palampur in Himachal Pradesh where he had settled down after the Partition. Sobha Singh was honoured with many awards and distinctions such as the title of State Artist of the Punjab Government in 1974 and the Padma Shri of the Government of India in 1983. He was conferred upon the degree of Doctor of Literature by Punjabi University, Patiala. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting released a documentary film titled ‘Painter of the People’ based on his life and works. BBc also made a documentary on him in 1984. Indian Government issued postal stamp in honor of Sir Sobha Singh in 2001.

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