Not currently on display at the V&A

A Study of a Head of a Koonbie

Painting
ca. 1869 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

John Griffiths was born in 1837. He studied at the Royal College of Art and then worked under Godfrey Sykes on the decorative work for the South Kensington Museum. One of his fellow assistants was John Lockwood Kipling, who became a life-long friend, and he was godfather to Kipling's son, Rudyard. The two of them were persuaded to go out to India on a three-year assignment, and in 1865 they sailed for Bombay, where they worked together for ten years at the Bombay School of Art. Griffiths undertook many commissions, including work on the Victoria Terminus and the High Court. After his decade in Bombay, Griffiths was appointed Principal of the Mayo School of Art and Curator of the Museum in Lahore, now in Pakistan. After his retirement in 1895, Griffiths lived firstly in Wales and then near Sherbourne in Dorset. He died in 1918. This painting depicts a kunbi (spelt 'koonbie' by the artist), the name of the cultivator class in Gujarat and the Konkan region (the equivalent of kurmi in north India).


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Painted in watercolour on tinted paper
Brief Description
Painting, 'A Study of a Head of a Koonbie', painted in watercolour on tinted paper, Khandale, ca. 1869
Physical Description
Painting in watercolour on tinted paper, portrait of a man of the Kunbi (cultivator) caste, wearing a white wrapped garment and red hat.
Dimensions
  • Within mount height: 27.6cm
  • Within mount width: 22.3cm
sight size
Content description
Portrait of a man of the Kunbi (cultivator) caste.
Marks and Inscriptions
'JGriffiths Khandulla 1869 [?] | 3 - A Study of a Head of a Koonbie - Griffiths - Bombay'
Subject depicted
Summary
John Griffiths was born in 1837. He studied at the Royal College of Art and then worked under Godfrey Sykes on the decorative work for the South Kensington Museum. One of his fellow assistants was John Lockwood Kipling, who became a life-long friend, and he was godfather to Kipling's son, Rudyard. The two of them were persuaded to go out to India on a three-year assignment, and in 1865 they sailed for Bombay, where they worked together for ten years at the Bombay School of Art. Griffiths undertook many commissions, including work on the Victoria Terminus and the High Court. After his decade in Bombay, Griffiths was appointed Principal of the Mayo School of Art and Curator of the Museum in Lahore, now in Pakistan. After his retirement in 1895, Griffiths lived firstly in Wales and then near Sherbourne in Dorset. He died in 1918. This painting depicts a kunbi (spelt 'koonbie' by the artist), the name of the cultivator class in Gujarat and the Konkan region (the equivalent of kurmi in north India).
Bibliographic Reference
Rohatgi P. and Parlett G., assisted by Imray S. and Godrej P. Indian Life and Landscape by Western Artists: Paintings and Drawings from the Victoria and Albert Museum, 17th to the early 20th century. Published by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai, in association with V&A, London, 2008. ISBN 81-901020-9-5.p. 326, pl. 44
Collection
Accession Number
IM.347-1910

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdSeptember 21, 2004
Record URL