Painting

ca. 1760 - ca. 1764 (made)
Painting thumbnail 1
Painting thumbnail 2
+2
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This painting probably depicts William Fullerton of Rosemount, who joined the East India Company's service in 1744 and was second surgeon in Calcutta in 1751. He was present at the siege of Calcutta in 1756 and became mayor of Calcutta in 1757. In 1763 Fullerton became a surgeon to the Patna Agency. He was the only Englishman to survive the massacre of the English during the war with Mir Kasim of Murshidabad.

Numerous East India Company officials adopted aspects of Indian court life during their careers in India, and, as an excellent linguist, Fullerton was very much at home in Bengal, keeping one or more Indian bibis (mistresses). Fullerton was a collector of paintings and it is likely that the Murshidabad artist Dip Chand painted a number of pictures for him when visiting Patna. This portrait shoes Fullerton receiving a visitor, attended by servants with fly-whisks (chauri). He is depicted seated on a rich carpet, leaning against a bolster and smoking a huqqa. Nearby are two rosewater sprinklers, a sword, and a box for betel nut. These accoutrements are generally assumed to signify Indian royalty, thereby conflating Fullerton's portrait with that of an Indian prince.
The painting is inscribed 'W.F. 1764' on the back.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Painted in opaque watercolour on paper
Brief Description
Painting, portrait of East India Company official, by Dip Chand, opaque watercolour on paper, Murshidabad or Patna, ca. 1760-1764
Physical Description
Painting, opaque watercolour on paper. An East India Company official is shown in uniform, seated on an embroidered floor spread, leaning against a bolster and smoking a huqqa, with three attendants in waiting. Probably a portrait of Dr. William Fullerton of Rosemount, a Scottish surgeon.
Dimensions
  • Height: 26.2cm
  • Width: 22.6cm
Content description
An East India Company official is shown in uniform, seated on an embroidered floor spread, leaning against a bolster and smoking a huqqa, with three attendants in waiting. Probably a portrait of Dr. William Fullerton of Rosemount, a Scottish surgeon.
Style
Production typeUnique
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'dastkare dip chand musawwir' (1) Signature; Persian; Persian; on lower mount; gold paint)
  • W.F. 1764 (On the back of the painting.)
Historical context
Dr. Fullerton was a patron of the local Murshidabad painters. Paintings by Dip Chand and other painters in his school differed from other Murshidabad court work of the period in the choice of subject matter: it was unusual to depict a European in paintings like this.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This painting probably depicts William Fullerton of Rosemount, who joined the East India Company's service in 1744 and was second surgeon in Calcutta in 1751. He was present at the siege of Calcutta in 1756 and became mayor of Calcutta in 1757. In 1763 Fullerton became a surgeon to the Patna Agency. He was the only Englishman to survive the massacre of the English during the war with Mir Kasim of Murshidabad.



Numerous East India Company officials adopted aspects of Indian court life during their careers in India, and, as an excellent linguist, Fullerton was very much at home in Bengal, keeping one or more Indian bibis (mistresses). Fullerton was a collector of paintings and it is likely that the Murshidabad artist Dip Chand painted a number of pictures for him when visiting Patna. This portrait shoes Fullerton receiving a visitor, attended by servants with fly-whisks (chauri). He is depicted seated on a rich carpet, leaning against a bolster and smoking a huqqa. Nearby are two rosewater sprinklers, a sword, and a box for betel nut. These accoutrements are generally assumed to signify Indian royalty, thereby conflating Fullerton's portrait with that of an Indian prince.

The painting is inscribed 'W.F. 1764' on the back.
Bibliographic References
  • Swallow, Deborah and John Guy eds. Arts of India: 1550-1900. text by Rosemary Crill, John Guy, Veronica Murphy, Susan Stronge and Deborah Swallow. London : V&A Publications, 1990. 240 p., ill. ISBN 1851770224, p.197, pl.172. Skelton, Robert, 'Murshidabad Painting', Marg, Vol.X, No.1, December 1956, p.19, pl.11 Jaffer, A. Furniture from British India and Ceylon: a catalogue of the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2001. ISBN 1 85177 318 5. p.39, fig.7. Archer, Mildred. Company Paintings Indian Paintings of the British period Victoria and Albert Museum Indian Series London: Victoria and Albert Museum, Maplin Publishing, 1992, 76 p. ISBN 0944142303 Palace Museum, Bejing. The Splendour of India's Royal Courts: Collection of the Victoria and Albert Musuem. Bejing: The Forbidden City Publishing House, 2013. p.234, 100.
  • Jackson, Anna and Ji Wei (eds.) with Rosemary Crill, Ainsley M. Cameron and Nicholas Barnard, compiled by the Palace Museum, translated by Yuan Hong, Qi Yue and Liu Ran. The Splendour of India' Royal Courts : Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Beijing: the Forbidden City Publishing House, 2013. Text in English and Chinese. ISBN 9787513403917.pps. 234-235
  • Das, N. and Llewellyn-Jones, R. (eds.). Murshidabad: Forgotten Capital of Bengal, ISBN 978-81-921106-9-1. Marg, Mumbai, 2013. ISBN 978-81-921106-9-1.p.22, pl. 4
  • The Indian Portrait: 1560-1860 London: National Portrait Gallery, 2010 Number: 978 1 85514 409 5p. 146, fig. no. 49, and p. 172, fig. 4 detail.
  • Swallow, D., Stronge, S., Crill, R., Koezuka, T., editor and translator, "The Art of the Indian Courts. Miniature Painting and Decorative Arts", Victoria & Albert Museum and NHK Kinki Media Plan, 1993.p. 166, cat. no. 153
  • Ayers, J. Oriental Art in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London 1983, ISBN 0-85667-120-7p. 81
  • Ayers, J. Oriental Art in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London 1983, ISBN 0-85667-120-7p. 81
  • Arts of Bengal : the heritage of Bangladesh and eastern India : an exhibition organized by the Whitechapel Art Gallery in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum : 9 November-30 December 1979, Whitechapel Art Gallery ..., 12 January-17 February 1980, Manchester City Art Gallery ... . [London]: Whitechapel Art Gallery, [1979] Number: 085488047X (pbk.) :p.47
  • Jackson, Anna & Jaffer, Amin (eds.) Encounters : the meeting of Asia and Europe 1500-1800, London, V&A, 2004p.165
Collection
Accession Number
IM.33-1912

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 createdDecember 15, 1999
Record URL