The Battle of Ramnagar which took place between British and Sikh forces during the 2nd Sikh War (1848-1849) incurred great losses for the British. Fought on the banks of the river Chenab in Punjab on 22 November 1848, the battle had resulted in an unambiguous victory for the Sikh forces. Yet, this engraving which depicts a scene from the battle is notable for suggesting otherwise. The fleeting moment captured in this engraving is from the very early stages of a charge made by the British where the Sikhs had briefly retreated. And while the choice on the part of the artist to focus on this scene ostensibly puts forth a message of British valour and might, the reality is that moments thereafter the Sikh forces were to fire again causing great destruction to the British, including the death of Colonel Havelock who led this charge.
The engraving is based on an original watercolour by Henry Martens, a prolific British artist who specialised in military art. Martens is said to have drawn inspiration for his battlefield paintings from first-hand accounts given by officers in the British army.
Read more about this depiction of the Battle of Ramnagar, here
TitleCharge of HM 14th Light Dragoons at the Battle of Ramnuggur', 22 November 1848
ArtistJ. Harris after H. Martens
DimensionsH: 75 cm x W: 101.2 cm
Genre: Etchings & Engravings