Portrait of a young Sikh man leaning over a balustrade

Historical period(s)
ca. 1800
Opaque watercolor on paper
H x W: 26.6 × 20.9 cm (10 1/2 × 8 1/4 in)
Pakistan, Punjab province, Lahore
Credit Line
Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection — funds provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


man, Pakistan, portrait, Ralph and Catherine Benkaim collection

To 1988
Hans Peter Kraus (d. 1988), Vienna, Austria, New York, New York, and Ridgefield, Connecticut [1]

Terence McInerney Fine Arts Ltd., New York, New York

From ? to 2002
Sam Fogg, Rare Books and Manuscripts, London [2]

From 2002 to 2018
Catherine Glynn Benkaim, Beverly Hills, California, purchased from Sam Fogg, Rare Books and Manuscripts, London in July 2002 [3]

From 2018
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, partial gift and purchase from Catherine Glynn Benkaim [4]


[1] Hans Peter Kraus operated a Rare Books shop (H.P. Kraus) in New York City until his death in 1988. It is unknown when Hans Peter Kraus or H.P. Kraus had acquired this painting.

[2] According to information from Catherine Glynn Benkaim.

[3] See note 2.

[4] See Acquisition Consideration Form, object file, Collections Management Office.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Hans Peter Kraus died 1988
Terence McInerney Fine Arts, Ltd.
Catherine Glynn Benkaim
Sam Fogg, Ltd.


Quirky and naïve, this is an exuberant portrait of undeniable charm. The bouyant arcs of the marble arch and brass bannisters provide a pleasing contrast to sitter's worried expression, slumped posture, and the relaxed curves of his turban, beard and shoulders; the limited palette of gray, white and peach is energized by the rhythmic pattern of golden yellow against gray in the lower half, the bold red horizontal that bisects the composition. Touches of pink (on the sitters' lips, turban cloth, shawl and around the marble arch) moreover pick up on and resonate with the warm peach of the sitter's skin.

The sitter is represented with two left hands.

Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
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