Painting thumbnail 1
Painting thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Painting

ca. 1830 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This Company Painting depicts a group of dancing-girls and musicians performing before an audience underneath a canopy on a terrace, and was made in Delhi in about 1830. The three dancing-girls are ranged in front of a group of four musicians, two of whom hold sarangis (stringed instruments played with bows like European viols), while another holds a pair of small cymbals, and the fourth plays a tabla (drum). Typical of Company Painting is the combination of realistic perspective and shading--the sky with clouds, the canopy shown in correct perspective--and features that seem unnatural to western eyes, such as the way in which the carpet is laid out so that it is viewed from the top in order to display the pattern to its best advantage.


Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Painted in opaque watercolour on paper
Brief description
Painting, dancers and musicians under canopy, opaque watercolour Delhi, ca. 1820-1840
Physical description
A group of dancing-girls and musicians performing beneath a canopy.
Dimensions
  • Height: 27.5cm
  • Width: 36cm
  • Height of page height: 30.4cm
  • Width of page width: 40.3cm
Style
Gallery label
  • A GROUP OF DANCERS AND MUSICIANS Opaque watercolour on paper Delhi c. 1830 03525(IS) Transferred to the V&A from the India Museum in 1879 Behind the three female dancers and singers in the centre of the picture stand four musicians. Each of the two on the outside plays a sarangi, the bearded man plays a tabla drum, while the fourth man holds a pair of finger cymbals. Tiny inscriptions record the names of the people, suggesting that the performers were highly acclaimed in their day.(01/08/2017)
  • A GROUP OF DANCING-GIRLS AND MUSICIANS Gouache on paper Delhi c. 1830 03535(IS) Behind the three dancing-girls in the centre of the picture stand four musicians. The two on the outside play sarangis, the bearded man plays a tabla, while the fourth man holds a pair of crotales or finger cymbals. (11/09/1997)
Subjects depicted
Summary
This Company Painting depicts a group of dancing-girls and musicians performing before an audience underneath a canopy on a terrace, and was made in Delhi in about 1830. The three dancing-girls are ranged in front of a group of four musicians, two of whom hold sarangis (stringed instruments played with bows like European viols), while another holds a pair of small cymbals, and the fourth plays a tabla (drum). Typical of Company Painting is the combination of realistic perspective and shading--the sky with clouds, the canopy shown in correct perspective--and features that seem unnatural to western eyes, such as the way in which the carpet is laid out so that it is viewed from the top in order to display the pattern to its best advantage.
Bibliographic references
  • pp. 164-5, cat. 145 Archer, Mildred. Company Paintings Indian Paintings of the British period Victoria and Albert Museum Indian Series London: Victoria and Albert Museum, Maplin Publishing, 1992. ISBN 0944142303
  • Bryant, Julius, Editor. Art and Design for All: The Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V&A Publishing, 2011. ISBN 9781851776665 p.236, pl. 295
Other number
? 2,089 - India Museum Slip Book
Collection
Accession number
03525(IS)

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Record createdDecember 15, 1999
Record URL
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