Portrait of Tipu Sultan (1749-99), ruler of Mysore

Portrait of Tipu Sultan (1749-99), ruler of Mysore

Opaque watercolour on paper
Mysore, India
About 1790
Museum no. IS.266-1952
Given by Colonel T G Gayer-Anderson & Major R G Gayer-Anderson

This painting by an anonymous Indian artist was probably done in Mysore. It depicts Tipu Sultan, ruler of Mysore from 1782 to 1799, who was defeated by the British at the Siege of Seringapatam. It was his tenacity, military prowess and the adoption of the tiger as his personal symbol that earned Tipu the title ‘The Tiger of Mysore’. A mechanical organ that once belonged to Tipu is on display at the V&A. It is in the shape of a European being mauled by a tiger and is known as 'Tippoo's Tiger'.