Some Portraits of Mysore Nawab Hyder Ali Khan

If you search for a portrait of Hyder Ali, the Nawab of Mysore, a quick Google search will yield numerous results. 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

Chromolithograph of a portrait of Hyder Ali - 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

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

We have come across several depictions of Hyder Ali through various drawings and engravings. However, it is important to note that many of these portrayals are inaccurate, as they often depict Hyder Ali with a moustache and beard, which is far from the truth. In reality, he had abandoned both since his adolescence, and it is fascinating to consider that these images were merely products of the artists' imaginations.

In his book Nishan-i-Haidari, Kirmani provides a concise depiction of Hyder Ali's appearance. 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."

The description given by Maistre de La Tour (M.M.D.L.T) is as follows: He is about five feet six inches high, and very lusty, though active, and capable of bearing fatigue as well on foot as on horseback. His complexion is brown. His features are coarse, his nose small and turned up, his lower lip rather thick; and he wears neither beard nor whiskers. His habits, like those of all the natives of India, are of white muslin, with a turban of the same. His robe is fashioned nearly the same as those of the European ladies, which are called a I'Angloise. The body and sleeves fit neatly, and are drawn close by strings; the rest of the robe being ample, and in folds; so that when the Indian great men walk, a page supports their train, from their first stepping off the carpet to their entering into their carriages.

I have come across only a handful of images that accurately reflect this description:
The 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. The 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. The top right is from Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata, while the bottom left image is a beautiful mural from Daria Daulat Bagh in Srirangapatna. In the bottom center image, we see Hyder Ali engaged in conversation with Schwartz, the missionary. It is an illustration from the book 'Conquests of the Cross, A Record of Missionary Work throughout the World'. Finally, the last image depicts 'Hyder Ali in his old age', sourced from Ebay.