Some Portraits of Mysore Nawab Hyder Ali

If you search for a portrait of Hyder Ali, the Nawab of Mysore, you will come across many images on Google. Following are some of them:


         Portrait of Haidar Ali - British Museum


         Portrait of Haidar Ali - British Museum





         An engraving from an English book, 1880 - ebay


         Chromolithpgraph of a portrait of Hyder Ali - British Museum


         Hyder Ally Cawn Sitting in his Durbar - Bonhams


         Portrait of Haidar Ali; illustration to European Magazine. 1793 - British Museum





         Hyder Ali, a steel engraving from the 1790's - ebay


         Portrait of Hyder Ali - Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata 


         Hyder Ali, engraved by Keck after William Dickes (1846)

Frontispiece to: Sir Walter Scott, The Surgeon's Daughter. Hyder Ali, the father of Vice-Regent Tippoo Saib, assists in ensuring the safety of heroine, Menie Gray, and punishing her duplicitous fiancé in The Surgeon's Daughter. This engraving was originally published in the Abbotsford Edition of the Waverley Novels (1846).
A Miniature Portrait of Hyder Ali / India, Mid-19th Century - Christies

This miniature portrait was painted after the engraving by Robert Keck after William Dickes, 1846. Dickes painted a fictitious image of Hyder Ali to illustrate a novel by Walter Scott. Subsequently, Dickes’s image was engraved by Keck and published in the frontispiece of Sir Walter Scott, The Surgeon’s Daughter, Abbotsford Edition of the Waverley Novels 1846.


Haidar Naik (Ali) of Madras/ Father of/ Tipu Sultan Prepared by Bl. Hoolas Lall of Patna, Circa 1840

Hyder Ali. Illustration for The Penny Magazine, 1839

Hyder Ali Indian Ruler and Soldier Helped Form First Corps of Sepoys with European Aid 1722-1782
Knave (Hyder Ali from Mysore) from Court Game of Geography - The Met

Court game of geography is a deck of 52 playing cards col. ill. 10 cm. published by the brothers William and Henry Rock, London, between 1838 and 1855.
Hyder Ali Khan Engraving - Serie di vite e ritratti de' famosi personaggi degli ultimi tempi. Opera dedicata a Sua Eccellenza il Signor conte Enrico di Bellegarde
Surrender of Baillie to Hyder Ali - Illustration from Cassell's History of England
Defeat of Hyder Ali in the pass of Singarpetta (1768). Illustration from Cassell's Illustrated History of India
Flight of Hyder Ali - British Battles on Land and Sea
Hyder Ali at Conjeveram, 1780, Illustration from Hutchinson's Story of the British Nation
Hyder Ali and the Missionary - Illustration from Cassell's Illustrated History of India
Hyder Ali (1722-82) from 'Receuil des Estampes, representant les Rangs et les Dignites, suivant le Costume de toutes les Nations existantes', published 1780 (hand-coloured engraving) - Bibliothèque nationale de France
The meeting between Haidar Ali and Suffren in July 1782, at the conclusion of the alliance against the English - British Museum
a propos du deuxieme centenaire de la naissance de suffren - Le bailli de Suffren se rencontre avec le nabab Haider-Ali et conclut avec lui une alliance pour chasser les anglais des Indes (1782). Illustration par Moritz Raymond (1891-1950) pour Le Pelerin du 28 juillet 1929
The meeting between Suffren and Haidar Ali in July 1782, at the conclusion of the alliance against the English - ebay
Le bailli de Suffren et le sultan du Mysore, Haidar Alî en 1782 - Bibliothèque nationale de France

There are some caricatures too.
The Peace Makers of India - Satire on the peace negotiations between Hyder Ali, Sultan of Mysore, and Muhammad Ali, Nawab of Arcot, an ally of the East India Company which is shown as making too many concessions; illustration to the Political Register, 1770 - British Museum

In the center, Hyder Ali holding a sword grasps one of the Directors, Josias Du Pre, by the nose. Other members of the Company's Council are joined to Dupre by strings leading from their noses; they are all pleading on their knees. A small man with the head of a dog, identified by Hawkins as "Frowd", stands in front. Behind the kneeling men, stand three others: Robert Andrews, wearing dark spectacles and holding out a lantern suggesting he does not see clearly; John Call, with a dog's head and a collar marked "I.C."; "St Lubin", a Frenchman, with a monkey's head, rests his hand in a familiar gesture on the shoulder of Call. Behind Hyder Ali, to the left, Muhammad Ali, looking angrily at Hyder Ali, makes to draw his sword but is restrained by two Englishmen; General Joseph Smith stands on the left glaring at the East India Company Councilors, his hands evidently tied behind his back and his guns lying idly on the ground behind him. In the background two scenes refer emblematically to earlier stages in the conflict: on the left, Muhammed Ali is forced naked into a river by French forces, represented by St Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Society, and a French soldier disguised as a priest, while Hyder Ali seizes his clothing and sword; on the right, a soldier (General Smith?) puts wood on a fire which is being encouraged by the French soldier working bellows and Loyola standing behind him.

Caricature representing Hyder Ali, correcting the English, a French soldier presents him with the rods - Bibliothèque nationale de France
Caricature representing Hyder Ali spanking the English, a French soldier provides him with the sticks - Scroll



We have now seen a number of drawings / engravings representing Hyder Ali. However, most of the images had come from the artists' own imaginations. 

Kirmani [W. Miles] gives a description of the appearance of Hyder Ali in his book Nishan-i-Haidari. He says, "The Nawaub was accustomed to shave his beard, moustaches, eyebrows, and eyelashes. He was very dark, and strong bodied, but of middle size".

I have found few photos matching with the above description: 
Top left image is from the Indian journal of Lady Charlotte Florentia Clive (1787-1866), illustrated with watercolours, some probably by her governess, Anna Tonelli. Top center image is taken from the book "The history of Hyder Shah, alias Hyder Ali Khan Bahadur, and of his son, Tippoo Sultaun' by M.M.D.L.T, General in the Army of the Mogul Empire, Revised and Corrected by His Highness Prince Gholam Mohammed [Son of Tipu Sultan]. Top right one is from Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata. Bottom left is a mural from Daria Daulat Bagh, Srirangapatna. In the bottom center image Hyder Ali is conversing with Schwartz, the missionary. It is an illustration for the book 'Conquests of the Cross, A Record of Missionary Work throughout the World'. Last image is 'Hyder Ali in old age' from ebay.

5th and 6th images are also seem to be of real Hyder. Hope you enjoyed the post. Also check my post A Collection of Portraits of Tipu Sultan.

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