Hari Singh was the most feared of Sikh generals and one of Ranjit Singh's favourites. He is recorded as having been allowed to address Ranjit Singh as 'taba' (papa) and it is speculated that he was in fact a son of the Maharaja. Ranjit Sigh rewarded him with the governorships of Kashmir in 1820, Hazara in circa 1823 and Peshawar in 1835.
Contemporary observers such as Baron Hugel (an Australian traveller) comment on his literacy and his knowledge of East India Company policy, indeed it was Hari Singh, who Ranjit sent as a messenger to Simla to invite Lord William Bentinck to a conference.
For a note on Sikh artists, see lot 291.