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August 2005


S. Sohan Singh Saggu


Artist S. Sohan Singh Saggu (Popular as G. S. Sohan Singh) was born to Smt.Ganga Devi in August 1914. His interest in art was inherited from his talented artist father, S. Gian Singh Naqqash. Who was the famous Fresco-Artist of the Golden Temple, Amrtisar


    He had his schooling upto the Middle Standard in the Government High School, in 1929 he joined the Art Company of S. Hari Singh and in 1931 after visiting Delhi and Bombay, he reached the port of Calcutta, where he joined his father in their business in Bazaar Sodhian.  In 1932 he made a portrait of S. Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, which fetched him a first prize at the Ramgarhia Federation Conference at Kharagpur. The portrait is sold in thousands was very well acclaimed by the public. He bagged gold medals and high awards at exhibitions held at Calcutta, Kharagpur, Bombay, Trivandrum, and Delhi etc.

    When father of S. Sohan Singh retired from the Golden Temple, both father and son started painting religious themes, preparing charts for students as well as framing pictures. S.Sohan Singh got an opportunity of gaining proficiency in the block line. He passed this technique to his elder son S. Surinder Singh Saggu,

     Sohan Singh is a very mild natured man and a very humble person. Since 1931 Sohan  Singh tackled multifarious subjects in the Art field e.g. Calendar designs, Oil and Water colour paintings, Commercial Labels, Book Jackets designs, subject illustrations designs, Newspaper Adv. Designs apart from very fine themes in the old Kangra Style, Pahari and Mughal Styles, Landscape painting, Indian Monuments, Portraits and Imaginative subjects. His designs of calendars, labels and posters are a masterpiece, unequalled by any other artist. His art can be seen like Preet Lari, Ajit, and many other popular periodicals of that era.

      An exceptional painting of Guru Nanak was bought by nearly 500 Americans, who were very much impressed with the artist's flare of the brush. S. Sawarn Singh, the Home Minister, presented S. Sohan Singh, with a 'Saropa' at the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Company Bagh at Amritsar in a ceremony inaugurated by the SGPC.


    He has in his credit dozens of gold and silver medals, cash prizes as well as commendation certificates as won by him in a number of Art Exhibitions held from time to time through out the Country. For a number of years, he continued as a member and a life member of governing body of The Indian Academy of Fine Arts and acted as a judge for the grant of awards on selected exhibits. At Chandigarh in 1970 he was acclaimed the Master Artist of the year, and the same year at Ludhiana he received a prestigious award from the Ramgarhia Silver Jubilee Conference.

     His studio at the 27-Braham Buta Market, Amritsar is a shrine for young and upcoming artists Art students, who want to obtain degrees in art, have been flocking at his studio to obtain special knowledge on art. In his family possession, there is an old manuscript with pictures of the Sikh era, from which S. Sohan Singh made the spectacular painting of Maharaja Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, which now hangs at the Amritsar Central Sikh Museum.

     S. Sohan Singh married to Smt Satwant Kaur Dhanjal. The couple is blessed with three sons and two daughters. His eldest son S. Surinder Singh Saggu was a Block Engineer and Graphic Artist, his youngest son S. Satpal Singh Saggu “Danish” follows in the footsteps of his father in the Art line. The third generation-his grandsons are S. Harpreet Pal Singh Saggu (M.Com) and S. Hardeep Singh Saggu (M.Sc.) have been preserving his Artwork and running the website www.art-heritage.com. 3rd son S. Jaspal Singh Saggu was a electrician at Guru Ram Dass dental college.. S. Sohan Singh has published the following books:

 (1) Gian Chitravali                                    (2) Amritsar - The Sacred City of the Sikhs (on the Gurudwaras and Temples of Amritsar) 

 (3) Holy Places of Pilgrimage (also on the Gurudwaras)   (4) Revealing the Art of G.S. Sohan Singh

    This great ramgarhia artist breathed his last after a short illness on 19 Feb. 1999 at the age of 85.

If you have any other information about
S. Sohan Singh Ji send to

Courtesy:- www.art-heritage.com

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