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  • Place of origin:

    India (north, made)

  • Date:

    second half 18th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of Mr. John Goelet

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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Physical description

Four small brush drawings in nim qalam based on European engravings pasted onto an album folio with floral borders in a similar manner to the opposite page (IS.48 1/B-1956).The page has an ivory ground which is decorated with a narrow painted boder of alternate pink lilies and red poppies outlined in gold. The outer margins of the page have strips of green paper pasted on them.That on the inner edge has been replaced with a grey paper gutter. The edges of the page have been gilded.
Top left-hand painting
Mother suckling a child probably painted after a European engraving of the Virgin and Child. The crude dark-brown brushstrokes of the sky above and earth below have been added after the page was assembled. The robes of the woman are washed in red and green.
Top right-hand painting
Grisaille painting of a woman seated on a balustrade holding a baby with a young boy behind. This group is probably based on a European engraving of the Holy Family of Mary, the Christ Child and John the Baptist. Crude brushstrokes in brown have been applied at the top and bottom on added pieces of paper. The small original painting has been given a brown frame within white lines inside the ornamented pasted framing of all four paintings on the page.
Lower left-hand painting
Nim qalam painting of a robed lady and a young man bowing before her, probably based on a European religious image, possibly of Tobias and the Angel, but here it is the boy who bears the wings and not the standing figure. Also there is no inclusion of a fish or dog from the original story. The figures here have been set in a receding landscape of European inspiration, but the two figures have been indianized as the lady holds a tambur while the youth's lower clothes resemble a dhoti. Red and green have been applied to accent the folds of the clothes and the hilt of the dagger in the youth's belt. Crude strokes of brown wash have been added to the sky.
Lower right-hand painting
Nim qalam painting of two robed and seaated figures with laurel wreaths. The female in the foreground is reading a book with an oriental script. Her companion behind holds up a tablet or book with similar script. A landscape of receding mountains fills the top left hand corner, but has crudely-applied brushstrokes of brown paint applied over the original green outlines of the hills. The female's robes have their folds accented in blue and red. The modelling of the image is achieved by a technique of stippling and minute linear brushstrokes. Flesh is modelled in grey with a delicate pink blush applied to the lips and cheeks of the figures. Both are ornamented with gold, pearl and ruby-coloured jewellery.

Place of Origin

India (north, made)


second half 18th century (made)


unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Remains of a red stamp and additional ink spots


Width: 20.0 cm includes all linear frames not borders, Height: 35.6 cm page, Width: 23.5 cm page, Height: 8.3 cm top lefh-hand original image, Width: 8.6 cm top left-hand original image, Height: 8.5 cm top right-hand painting, Width: 6.8 cm top right-hand painting, Height: 13.6 cm lower left-hand painting, Width: 8.6 cm lower left-hand painting, Height: 13.8 cm lower right-hand painting, Width: 8.9 cm lower right-hand painting, Height: 28.5 cm inner mount

Object history note

This painting is part of the Small Clive Album which is thought to have been given by Shuja ud-daula, the Nawab of Avadh, to Lord Clive during his last visit to India in 1765-67. It contains 56 leaves on which are Mughal paintings, drawings and flower studies on both sides. The album was rebound in the mid nineteenth century with a striped Indian brocade, patterned with rows of flower sprigs, possibly made in southern India. The silk may have been cut from lengths brought home by the 2nd Lord Clive, who served as Governor of Madras, 1799 to 1803. The album was sold from Powis Castle at Sotheby's sale, 16 to 18 January 1956, lot 332A

Historical context note

The lower right-hand painting relates to a nim qalam drawing ascribed to Basawan, c.1585, illustrated in David, M-C and Soustiel, Jean, Miniatures Orientales de l'Inde. 4, exhibition catalogue, Gallerie Jean Soustiel, Paris, 1986, No. 1

Descriptive line

Paintings, Small Clive Album p. 3, based on European engravings, watercolour on paper, India, second half 18th century


Paper; Paint; Opaque watercolour



Subjects depicted

Floral patterns; Landscape; Figures (representations); Child; Mother



Collection code


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