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Oil painting - Native Lady of Umritsur
  • Native Lady of Umritsur
    van Ruith, Horace, born 1839 - died 1923
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Native Lady of Umritsur

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Amritsar, India (made)

  • Date:

    1880s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    van Ruith, Horace, born 1839 - died 1923 (uncertain, maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Municipality of Amritsar

  • Museum number:

    IS.45-1886

  • Gallery location:

    South Asia, room 41, case F

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This painting shown in the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London in 1886 was bought by the South Kensington Museum the same year. It was described on acquisition as the depiction of "A Native Lady of Umritsar". The artist, Horace Van Ruith (1839-1923) produced a documentary record of the jewellery and clothes of a lady from Amritsar, now in India, and part of the historic region of the Panjab which is divided between the modern nation states of India and Pakistan. The woman wears a full set of head, ear, nose, neck, arm, hand, ankle and foot jewellery, and her posture is arranged to allow her jewellery, clothes and footwear to be seen to its best advantage. Her skirt and tunic are richly decorated with 'zardozi' (gold wire/thread) embroidery.

Physical description

The full-length portrait of a woman depicts her heavily bejewelled and facing towards the viewer. She lifts her blue gathered skirt with gold-embroidered border to show her silver anklets and toe rings, and at the same time shows the mirror ring on the thumb of her left hand and gold finger rings attached to her bracelets by gold chains.The painting is a documentary record of costume and jewellery of the region as she wears a full set of head, ear, nose, neck, arm, hand, ankle and foot jewellery and a costume richly decorated with 'zardozi' (gold wire/thread) embroidery. Her shoes are in front of her bare feet.

Place of Origin

Amritsar, India (made)

Date

1880s (made)

Artist/maker

van Ruith, Horace, born 1839 - died 1923 (uncertain, maker)

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

Height: 181 cm, Width: 99.5 cm

Object history note

Acquired by the South Kensington Museum from the Colonial and Indian Exhibition held in London in 1882.

Descriptive line

A Native Lady of Umritsar, oil on canvas possibly by Horace van Ruith, Amritsar, 1880s

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

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.219, pl.194. Barnard, Nick. ‘Indian Jewellery : The V&A Collection’. London : V&A Publishing, 2008. ISBN 9781851774838, page 11 no.1.1.
Susan Stronge, "Indian Jewellery and the Great Exhibitions", in S. Stronge, ed., The Jewels of India, Marg Publications, Bombay, 1995, pp. 99-116, illus. fig. 5, p. 107
Barnard, Nick. Indian Jewellery : The V&A Collection London : V&A Publishing, 2008. ISBN 9781851774838. Plate 1.1, p.11.

Production Note

Previously thought to have been by Horace van Ruith but this is now questioned.

Materials

Canvas; Oil

Subjects depicted

Women; Jewellery; Native costume

Categories

Paintings; Jewellery

Collection code

SSEA

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Qr_O17671
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