Sati ceremony

Painting
ca. 1800 (painted), ca. 1800 (made)
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The pictures made by Indian artists for the British in India are called Company paintings. This one depicts the practice of sati (suttee) or widow-burning. The word is the Sanskrit for 'good woman' or 'true wife'. It was applied to the Hindu widow who makes the supreme sacrifice by following her husband onto the funeral pyre. Although suppressed in the 19th century, isolated instances of sati still occur in India even today.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Opaque watercolour on paper
Brief Description
Painting; gouache, Sati Ceremony, Tanjore, 1800
Physical Description
Sati ceremony: self-immolation of a Hindu widow, with men and women mourning by a river. One of ten paintings depicting festivals.
Dimensions
  • Height: 43cm
  • Width: 59cm
  • Length: 43cm
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
Women fallen in fire on account of the Husband Dead (Inscription; decoration; English; Roman)
Subjects depicted
Summary
The pictures made by Indian artists for the British in India are called Company paintings. This one depicts the practice of sati (suttee) or widow-burning. The word is the Sanskrit for 'good woman' or 'true wife'. It was applied to the Hindu widow who makes the supreme sacrifice by following her husband onto the funeral pyre. Although suppressed in the 19th century, isolated instances of sati still occur in India even today.
Bibliographic Reference
Archer, Mildred. Company Paintings Indian Paintings of the British period Victoria and Albert Museum Indian Series London: Victoria and Albert Museum, Maplin Publishing, 1992, 54 p. ISBN 0944142303
Collection
Accession Number
AL.8805

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
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