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Painting

  • Place of origin:

    Mughal Empire (made)

  • Date:

    mid to late 17th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of Mr. John Goelet

  • Museum number:

    IS.48:34/A-1956

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Painting, in opaque watercolour and gold on paper, the officer in the central painting stands in profile facing left with his hands resting one above the other across his chest. He is seen standing on top of the intersection between two grassy shallow mounds which are detailed with slender stalks of curving grass. The figure stands against the plain ground of the buff-coloured paper which is streaked at the top with thin brush strokes of blue rising up to a more solid area of notional sky painted in an opaque medium.

The figure of the officer is partly painted in nim qalam with only the decorative details of his dress and armour picked out in colour. He has a close-cropped beard with a luxuriant moustache above. He wears a jama with a decorated collar and edging round the hem and front opening and shoulder seams in red and green motifs against a gold ground. These details are echoed in the outer encircling bands of his turban which is painted below in alternate stripes of red and blue spotted in gold. He wears a double patka: the outer one in patterned bands of yellow, red and gold, and the inner one with a floral pattern of yellow and red flowers on a gold ground above horizontally striped bands of blue and gold spots bordered in red. Below his jama he is wearing a pair of bright orange paijama decorated with a half-drop design of gold-outlined green leaves, like those seen on the opposite figure in IS.48:33/B-1956. Below these he is shod in a pair of yellow shoes with gold patterning.

Round his waist he has a gold-patterned blue sword belt off which hangs a gold-dotted blue curving scabbard with a gold talwar hilt richly ornamented with multi-coloured motifs, repeated on the tip of the scabbard, which similar to those seen on the hilt of the figure in 33/B. He carries a round shield with golden scrolling ornamentation and jewelled bosses. This is hung on a deep maroon-coloured hanger, belt and shoulder strap which is picked out with gold decoration. The two points of a katar dagger are seen sticking out from the right side of his body in front of his right arm.

The painting is framed with an inner border of strips of pinky-buff-coloured paper decorated in gold with scrolling leaf and floral motifs between lines of gold, black and white with an outer line in blue set against the ivory ground of the outer border. This is decorated with an alternate design of pink lilies and red poppies, outlined in gold. Blue paper strips with a white outline have been stuck on the outer edges of the page largely concealing the remains of the former red margin outlined in gold. This is mainly evident along the left hand edge where the blue paper strip has been mostly torn away. A sage green paper strip has been stuck over this margin to act as a gutter for the present binding of the album.

Place of Origin

Mughal Empire (made)

Date

mid to late 17th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

Marks and inscriptions

the numeral '34' is inscribed in pencil
top right hand corner of the page

Dimensions

Height: 18 cm central painting, Width: 10.3 cm central painting, Height: 35.5 cm page, Width: 23.5 cm page

Object history note

This miniature painting is part of the Small Clive Album of Indian miniatures 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 miniature paintings, drawing and flower studies on both sides. The binding is covered with an Indian brocade silk which 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.

Descriptive line

Painting, Small Clive Album p. 67, an officer, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Mughal, mid to late 17th century

Materials

Opaque watercolour; Paint; Paper; Gold

Techniques

Nim qalam; Painted

Subjects depicted

Sword; Costume; Daggers (weapons); Shield; Mughal officer

Categories

Portraits; Paintings; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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