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Painting - One of four drawings of inhabitants of Delhi.
  • One of four drawings of inhabitants of Delhi.
    Khan, Faiz Ali
  • Enlarge image

One of four drawings of inhabitants of Delhi.

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Delhi (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1815 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Khan, Faiz Ali (Artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss M. Letitia Harford, OBE

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This Company painting is from a set of four depicting inhabitants of Delhi in about 1815; they may have been painted by Faiz Ali Khan. The seven ascetics and their attendant are all dressed in fantastic attire: one wears a tasselled costume, one carries a tasselled umbrella, one wears a huge turban, and one is accompanied by five monkeys and three dogs. These ascetics were well-known characters in Delhi. The effete figure with tassels hanging from his waist was called Sarhaj, a Brahmin of the Chaube caste from Gokal, Brindaban, known as 'Mr Flowery Man'.

'Company paintings' were produced by Indian artists for Europeans living and working in the Indian subcontinent, especially British employees of the East India Company. They represent a fusion of traditional Indian artistic styles with conventions and technical features borrowed from western art. Some Company paintings were specially commissioned, while others were virtually mass-produced and could be purchased in bazaars.

Physical description

Portraits of seven ascetics and an attendant, all in fantastic attire. They are accompanied by five monkeys and three dogs.

Place of Origin

Delhi (made)


ca.1815 (made)


Khan, Faiz Ali (Artist)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on paper


Length: 32.5 cm, Width: 41 cm

Object history note

Dalrymple, William and Sharma, Yuthika (eds). Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi, 1707-1857. New York : Asia Society ; New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, 2012. ISBN 9780300176667 ; 030017666X. p. 139, cat. no. 54.

Descriptive line

Painting, Portraits of seven ascetics, Delhi, ca.1815

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Archer, Mildred. Company Paintings Indian Paintings of the British period
Victoria and Albert Museum Indian Series London: Victoria and Albert Museum, Maplin Publishing, 1992 155 p. ISBN 0944142303


Gouache; Paper

Subjects depicted

Costume; Monkey (animal); Ruins; Dog (animal)


Indian Company Paintings


South & South East Asia Collection

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