Budapest Post

Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate
Budapest, Europe and world news

UK Imposes Export Bar On Painting Of Indian Soldiers During World War I

UK Imposes Export Bar On Painting Of Indian Soldiers During World War I

Around 1.5 million Indian soldiers were deployed during World War I and according to records, the two soldiers in the painting sat for the artist in London two months before being sent to France to fight in the trenches.
A portrait by Anglo-Hungarian painter Philip de Laszlo of two Indian soldiers who fought in World War I was placed under a temporary export bar by the British government to allow time for a UK institution to acquire the "wonderful and sensitive" work to prevent it leaving the country.

The unfinished portrait, valued at around GBP 650,000, depicts cavalry officers Risaldar Jagat Singh and Risaldar Man Singh – junior troop commanders in the British Indian Army's Expeditionary Force who served at the Battle of the Somme in France and presumed to have died in action.

The painting is extremely rare in depicting active Indian participants in the First World War.

“This wonderful and sensitive portrait captures an important moment in our history as soldiers were drawn from across the globe to help fight in the trenches of the First World War,” said Lord Stephen Parkinson, UK Arts and Heritage Minister.

“I hope this magnificent painting can remain in the UK to help tell the story of those brave soldiers and the contribution they and so many others made to Allied victory,” he said.

Around 1.5 million Indian soldiers were deployed during World War I and according to records, the two soldiers in the painting sat for the artist in London two months before being sent to France to fight in the trenches.

It is described as a fine example of a portrait by the renowned 20th-century artist, which captures an important moment in British history as soldiers from across the British Empire came to fight in Europe.

The painting appears to have been created for de László's own collection and it remained in his studio until he died in 1937.

The UK government's decision to impose an export bar follows the advice of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA).

The committee made its recommendation based on the criterion for its outstanding significance to the study of the Indian contribution to the war effort and the individuals involved.

“Philip de László was one of Britain's most distinguished society portrait painters of the early 20th century. But this sensitive portrait, the more powerful because it is unfinished, offers an exceptionally rare glimpse not of maharajahs or generals but of two ‘ordinary' middle-ranking Sikh soldiers about to depart for the horrors of the Battle of the Somme,” said RCEWA Member Peter Barber.

“The enormous contribution made by them and millions of other Indians to Britain's war efforts between 1914 and 1918 has until recently been largely overlooked and the life stories of de Laszlo's sitters remain to be uncovered. Yet numerous descendants of Indian soldiers now live in Britain, rendering the portrait ‘British' at several, increasingly significant, levels,” he said.

According to Barber, the portrait also raises more general questions of personal and externally perceived British identity.

That the painting, apparently undertaken voluntarily and without payment, had special meaning for the artist is suggested by the fact that it remained in his studio until he died.

The RCEW believes the perceptive and deeply personal painting speaks at several levels to the British experience, both positive and less positive, and should remain in the UK to be viewed, studied, and enjoyed.

Barber added: “De Laszlo could well have seen parallels between the position of these outsiders loyally serving their imperial master and his own as a humbly-born Hungarian Jew who had reinvented himself as a patriotic member of British high society.

“Like the Indians serving in the British forces, he too faced discrimination in face of growing public xenophobia. Within months of creating this portrait he was to be interned for over a year as a suspected foreign agent and to suffer a nervous breakdown after having been, sadistically, refused permission to paint.” The decision on the export licence application for the painting will be deferred for a three-month period ending on July 13, 2023, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said.

At the end of the first deferral period, the owners will have a consideration period of 15 business days to consider any offer to purchase the painting at the recommended price of GBP 650,000, plus VAT of GBP 130,000, which can be reclaimed by an eligible institution.

The second deferral period will commence following the signing of an Option Agreement and will last for another three months.
Newsletter

Related Articles

0:00
0:00
Close
Ukraine Arrests Father-Son Duo In Lockbit Cybercrime Bust
US Offers $15 Million For Info On Leaders Of Cybercrime Group Lockbit
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
Alexei Navalny: UK sanctions Russian prison chiefs after activist's death
German economy is in 'troubled waters' - ministry
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
EU Investigates TikTok for Child Safety Concerns
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
France and Germany Struggle to Align on European Defense Strategy
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
Russia "Very Close" To Creating Cancer Vaccines, Says Vladimir Putin
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
US Rejects Putin's Ceasefire Offer in Ukraine
The Dangers of Wildfire Smoke and Self-Protection Strategies
A Londoner has been arrested for expressing his Christian beliefs.
Chinese Women Favor AI Boyfriends Over Humans
Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty
Google pledges 25 million euros to boost AI skills in Europe
Hungarian President Katalin Novák Steps Down Amid Pardon Controversy
Activist crashes Hillary Clinton's speech, calls her a 'war criminal.'
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Trudeau reacts to Putin's mention of Canadian Parliament applauding a former Ukrainian Nazi in his interview with Tucker Carlson.
The Spanish police blocked the farmers protest. So the farmers went out and moved the police car out of the way.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy fires top Ukraine army commander
Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin raises EU concerns
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
Russia's Economy Expands by 3.6% Due to Increased Military Spending
Ukraine MPs Vote To Permit Use Of Dead Soldiers' Sperm
German Princess Becomes First Aristocrat To Pose Naked On Playboy Cover
UK’s King Charles III diagnosed with cancer
EU's Ursula von der Leyen Confronts Farmer Protests Amid Land Policy Debates
Distinguishing Between Harmful AI Media and Positive AI-Generated Content: A Crucial Challenge for the EU
Tucker Carlson explains why he interviewed Putin
Dutch farmers are still protesting in the Netherlands against the government, following the World Economic Forum's call for 'owning nothing.'
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stands up for European farmers and says, 'Brussels is suffocating European farmers.
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
French farmers are not messing around.
×