Q. Where/When did Sardar Sobha Singh born?
Ans: Sardar Sobha Singh was born on 29 November 1901 at Shri Har Govindpur in the district of Gurdaspur (Punjab).
Q. About the parents of Sardar Sobha Singh?
- He had no happy childhood. His mother ‘Achhran Devi’ died when he was barely five.
- His father S. Dewa Singh was in the Indian Army as a Cavalry Officer, but also nourished his son’s love for painting.
- Sobha Singh had two sisters, Lakshmi Devi and Kishan Devi.
Q. To whom did Sardar Sobha Singh marry?
Ans: In the year 1923, he married ‘Bibi Inder Kaur’.
Q. What was the education of Sardar Shobha Singh?
Ans: When Sardar Sobha was fifteen, he got admission to the Industrial School at Amritsar where he completed one year course in Art & Craft.
Q. What was the professional career of Sardar Sobha Singh?
- In 1919, he joined the Indian Army as a draftsman and proceeded to Baghdad, where he served four years.
- In 1923, Sobha Singh left service to become a free–lancer and started his own studio in Amritsar.
- In 1926, he shifted his studio to Lahore which was then a center booming with multifarious activities.
- But in 1931, he came back to Delhi, wherein the famous Connaught Place, he founded his studio.
- After some eleven-year stay in New Delhi went out to Preet Nagar in his search for a permanent stay.
Q. How did Sardar Sobha Singh come to Himachal Pradesh?
- With Preet Nagar as the base camp, he loitered for three years and also visited Kangra valley whose serene surroundings attracted him to make it his abode.
- But only after 1947 partition of the country, Sardar Sobha Singh came back permanently.
- The Sardar went to Andretta and lived in a hut rented out to him by Norah Richards. It took him two years to build his own house in the same village.
Q. What were the world-famous paintings of Sardar Sobha Singh?
- His world-famous paintings are Sohni Mahiwal, Portraits of Sikh Gurus, Kangra Bride, and Gaddi belle.
- Of all his works, Sohni Mahiwal remains an outstanding achievement of Sobha Singh for which he has won wide acclaim in India and abroad.
- The first painting of Sohni-Mahiwal was bought by Dr. Karan Singh (Son of Raja Hari Singh of Jammu & Kashmir).
- With the publication of the portrait of Guru Nanak, and also of other Gurus, he became a hero of the Indian masses, revered a lot, particularly the Sikhs.
- A portrait of Guru Nanak Dev, which has been called, ‘Sobha Singh Ke Nanak, just as the people recollect “Tulsi Ke Rama’.
- The portrait was commissioned by SGPC, released on the occasion of quincentenary celebrations of the Guru’s birthday, and made it available to the people at the low cost.
- The first portrait of the Kangra Bride was acquired from him by Lady Mountbatten.
Q. Who were the companions of Sardar Sobha Singh?
Ans: Sardar Sobha Singh was not a propagator of religion; he was a cultural emissary of very high stature. “Guru Granth Sahib’ was his first source of delight, but his companions in the early hours used to be Emerson, Krishnamurthy, and Khalil Gibran.
Q. Who exercised a great influence on Sobha Singh?
Ans: Pahari art of painting, as in many cases like Amrita Shergil, B.C. Sanyal and others exercised a great influence on Sobha Singh and had been looked upon by him as a great legacy.
Q. Other achievements of Sardar Sobha Singh?
- He was bestowed with a number of awards during his lifetime. In 1974, the Punjab Government on ‘Republic Day‘ acclaimed him as the State artist.
- There is an Art Gallery by the name of ‘Sardar Sobha Singh at Andretta‘, district Kangra. The place has now become a center of tourist attraction.
Q. When did Sardar Sobha Singh die?
Ans: The great painter passed away in 1989.