Rites and Festivals of Muslims and the main Hindu Castes thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Rites and Festivals of Muslims and the main Hindu Castes

Album Page
ca. 1774 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

‘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.

This Company painting is part of an album, now known as the Gentil Album, of 58 paintings commissioned by a French infantry colonel, Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Gentil (1726-1799), who served under Shuja ud-Daula of Oudh from 1774 until 1786. The Muharram ceremony, depicted here, takes place during the period of fasting and public mourning observed during the first month of the Muslim lunar year. This commemorates the martyrdom of Hasan and Husain, grandsons of the Prophet.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Watercolour on paper
Brief Description
Gentil; Manuscripts, Col J B J Gentil, Faizabad, ca. 1774. Page number 29 (Gentil numbered two successive pages '22'). Muslim festivals. The text on the back of this page relates to the next image, IS.25:31-1980.
Physical Description
Muslim festivals: Chabrat in memory of the dead; Bakr Id in memory of the sacrifice of Isaac; the end of Ramadan, called 'Fete de la paque' (Easter) by Gentil.
Dimensions
  • Length: 37cm
  • Width: 53.5cm
Style
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
‘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.



This Company painting is part of an album, now known as the Gentil Album, of 58 paintings commissioned by a French infantry colonel, Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Gentil (1726-1799), who served under Shuja ud-Daula of Oudh from 1774 until 1786. The Muharram ceremony, depicted here, takes place during the period of fasting and public mourning observed during the first month of the Muslim lunar year. This commemorates the martyrdom of Hasan and Husain, grandsons of the Prophet.
Bibliographic Reference
Archer, Mildred. Company Paintings Indian Paintings of the British period Victoria and Albert Museum Indian Series London: Victoria and Albert Museum, Maplin Publishing, 1992 121 p. ISBN 0944142303 Chanchal Dadlani, ‘Transporting India. The Gentil Album and Mughal Manuscript Culture’, Art History. 2025, pp. 748-761
Collection
Accession Number
IS.25:30-1980

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record createdJanuary 18, 2000
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