A portrait by Anglo-Hungarian painter Philip de Laszlo of two Indian soldiers who fought in World War-I was placed under a temporary export bar by the government of the United Kingdom. It has been done to allow time for a UK institution to acquire the work to prevent it leaving the country. The ₹6.6-crore unfinished painting depicts cavalry officers Jagat Singh and Man Singh.
The unfinished portrait is valued at around GBP 650,000. The painting is extremely rare in depicting active Indian participants in the First World War. It shows cavalry officers Risaldar Jagat Singh and Risaldar Man Singh – junior troop commanders in the British Indian Army’s Expeditionary Force who served at the Battle of the Somme in France and supposed to have died in action.
Around 1.5 million Indian soldiers were deployed during World War I and according to records, the two soldiers in the painting sat for the artist in London two months before being sent to France to fight in the trenches. It is seen as a fine example of a portrait, capturing an important moment in British history as soldiers from across the British Empire came to fight in Europe. The art work appears to have been created for de László’s own collection and it remained in his studio until he died in 1937.