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Watercolour - Spoonbill (Platalea Leucorodia)

Spoonbill (Platalea Leucorodia)

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Lucknow (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1780 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr Arthur Jeffries

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Colonel Claude Martin was a Frenchman living in Lucknow in the late 18th century. He arrived in the city in 1775 and was appointed Superintendent of the arsenal of the Nawab of Lucknow. During his residence in the city he collected on a grand scale, and across a wide range of European and Indian objects and paintings. This depiction of a Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) by an unknown Lucknow artist belonged to his large set of natural history paintings of the kind bought or commissioned by other European collectors at the same time.

Physical description

A painting of a white spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) on the bank of a stream, the bird itself almost comprising the whole image. The treatment of the landscape with small rounded bushes and clumps of grass is typical of Lucknow painting in the late eighteenth century.

Place of Origin

Lucknow (made)


ca. 1780 (painted)



Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed on the front in Urdu


'Platalea Leucorodia'
written at the top in pencil


height: 63 cm, Width: 47.8 cm

Object history note

Part of a set of bird paintings made for Colonel Claude Martin (1735-1810) at Lucknow.

Descriptive line

Painting; watercolour, Spoonbill (Platalea Leucorodia), Lucknow, ca. 1780

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

M.Archer, Company Paintings (V&A, 1992), cat.no.90.
Rosie Llewellyn-Jones, ed., Lucknow: Then and Now, Mumbai: Marg Publications, 2003, p. 112, fig. 8.

Archer, Mildred. Company Paintings Indian Paintings of the British period
Victoria and Albert Museum Indian Series London: Victoria and Albert Museum, Maplin Publishing, 1992 122 p. ISBN 0944142303
Barnard, Nick: Arts of Asia, vol. 45, no. 5, September - October 2015, "The Parasol Foundation Trust Programme: digitising and cataloguing the V&A's South Asian collection.", p. 102. no. 10.
India's fabled city : the art of courtly Lucknow / Stephen Markel with Tushara Bindu Gude ; and contributions by Muzaffar Alam ... [et al.]. Munich ;London: Prestel, Johann Gottlieb, c2010 Number: 9783791350752 (hbk.), 3791350757 (hbk.)


Watercolour; Paper



Subjects depicted

River; Shadow; Spoonbill


Indian Company Paintings; Paintings; Animals and Wildlife


South & South East Asia Collection

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