61.5 x 46 cm.
Formerly in the collection of Thomas and Christie Accatino, USA.
S. G. Thakur Singh: Paintings of Indian Womanhood, n. d., plate 16.
The fulsome catalogue description of the painting runs: The hours of waiting are, in fact, the hours of prolonged anguish. The woman embellished with jewellery and brocaded raiment, and with the rose of love blooming in her heart and in her hand, is apparently awaiting the arrival of her faraway lover, long separated from her. Her expression reveals a mixed emotion of joy and sadness – joy in the hope of meeting and sadness born of uncertainty – sometimes the one and sometimes the other gaining ascendancy.
Sardar Ganda Thakur Singh, an apprentice of the Lahore painter Mohammed Alam (1870-1940), began as a theatrical painter in Bombay and Calcutta. In 1917, at the age of eighteen, he was awarded a prize in an exhibition in Simla, and his painting After the Bath won 2nd Prize at the British Empire Exhibition in London in 1924. The present painting epitomises the general tenor of his work: female subjects with hints of eroticism, often conveyed through clinging drapery. He also painted landscapes. He was a founder member of the Punjab Fine Art Society in Calcutta, the Indian Academy of Fine Arts in Amritsar, and the Thakar Singh School of Arts. In 1953 he was nominated as a member of the Punjab Legislative Council. The Russian and Hungarian governments invited him to exhibit his work in Moscow, Leningrad and Budapest in 1959 (he had travelled extensively in the Soviet Union). He died in 1976. For a brief survey of his life and work, see M. Hasan, Painting in the Punjab Plains, Lahore 1998, p. 165