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Painting - A branch of a mango tree ('Mangifera Indica') bearing unripe fruits
  • A branch of a mango tree ('Mangifera Indica') bearing unripe fruits
    Bhawani Das
  • Enlarge image

A branch of a mango tree ('Mangifera Indica') bearing unripe fruits

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Calcutta (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1780 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bhawani Das (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The pictures made by Indian artists for the British in India are called Company paintings. This one was originally in the collection of Sir Elijah Impey and Lady Impey, who commissioned over 300 pictures in Calcutta between 1777 and 1782. Sir Elijah was the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Fort William. He was a man of great intellect and wide-ranging interests. The Impeys were passionately interested in the flora and fauna of India and formed a private menagerie at their house, where they assembled birds and animals. From 1777 they employed three Indian artists to paint their collection. One of them was the Hindu artist Bhawani Das, who made this picture around 1780.

Physical description

A branch of a mango tree (Mangifera indica) bearing unripe mangoes.

Place of Origin

Calcutta (made)


ca. 1780 (made)


Bhawani Das (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'am. Bhawani Das. In the collection of Lady Impey.'
English and Persian; Roman


Height: 65.5 cm, Width: 45.5 cm

Object history note

Made for Sir Elijah and Lady Impey of Calcutta, c.1780 and along with 63 other bird, animal and plant studies given to the Linnaean Society, London. The collection was sold at Sotheby's, London, on 10 June 1963 and this painting was bought by the museum after the auction from Maggs for £33.

Purchased from Maggs Brothers Ltd, London W1 in 1963.

Descriptive line

Painting; watercolour, a branch of a mango tree bearing unripe mangoes, Calcutta, ca. 1780

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, 98 p ISBN 0944142303

Mildred Archer assisted by Graham Parlett, Company Paintings. Indian Paintings of the British Period, Victoria and Albert Museum in association with Mapin Publishing Pvt Ltd, Middletown/London, 1992, catalogue 71, pp. 97-98
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.) :

Production Note

Made for Sir Elijah Impey of Calcutta , c.1780.


Paper; Watercolour



Subjects depicted

Trees, Mango trees


Paintings; Indian Company Paintings


South & South East Asia Collection

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