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  • Place of origin:

    Kolkata (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1865 - ca. 1870 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour and tin alloy on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Cambridge, to which the series was presented by Mrs. Western of Langbrookside, Havant, Hampshire

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Painting, in opaque watercolour and tin alloy on paper, Kalighat image of a woman with yellow flesh tones, wearing a green blouse and a red sari with decorative silver trimming (executed in tin alloy). In her right hand the courtesan holds a red rose signifying a symbol of passion, and in her left hand she leads a man with a moustache, wearing a hat and a woolly sheep’s body. Illustration to a Bengali proverb or folk tale.

Place of Origin

Kolkata (made)


ca. 1865 - ca. 1870 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour and tin alloy on paper


Height: 444 mm maximum, Width: 276 mm maximum

Object history note

This image is alternatively known as 'The Sheepish Lover' an additional joke used by mothers in law at Bengali weddings for teasing of the bridegrooms." I have purchased you with cowries. I have tied you with a rope. I have put a spindle in your hand. Now bleat like a sheep" (Archer:1971, p11).

Historical significance: Archer also comments that this proverbial image has much written about it regarding the dominance of women in Calcutta during the 19th century.(Archer,1971: p54)

Descriptive line

Painting, courtesan with rose leading anthropomorphic sheep, opaque watercolour and tin alloy on paper, Kalighat, Kolkata, ca. 1865-1870

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

Archer.W.G (1971) Kalighat Painting, Victoria and Albert Museum, HMSO, London, p54.
p. 65
Sinha, Suhashini, and Panda, C, eds. Kalighat Paintings from the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2012. ISBN 1851776656.


Opaque watercolour; Paper; Paint; Tin alloy



Subjects depicted

Woman; Courtesan; Man; Sheep; Roses


Paintings; Animals and Wildlife; Folk Art; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

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