Painting

February, 1854 (made)
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This watercolour shows an Akali Sikh sitting near the causeway to the 'Golden Temple' or Har Mandir in Amritsar, the principal temple of the Sikhs. The Akalis were a militant sect easily recognisable by their tall conical turbans decorated with quoits and metal ornaments. The artist, William Carpenter, was the son of William Hookham Carpenter, Keeper of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, and the portraitist, Margaret Sarah Geddes. He went to India in 1850 to paint portraits and made studies of scenery and daily life, remaining there for seven years. He was in Amritsar in 1854 and there painted views of the Golden Temple. Carpenter exhibited his watercolours in the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) in 1881 and the Museum has a large collection of his work. This painting was one of 134 by Carpenter bought by the Museum in 1882. Other Carpenter watercolours had been acquired in 1881 and another was acquired in 1885.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Watercolour on paper
Brief Description
Painting, An Akali Sikh seated near the Golden Temple, by William Carpenter (1818-99), watercolour on paper, Amritsar, Punjab, India, 1854.
Physical Description
Watercolour painting. An Akali Sikh, dressed in blue, is shown sitting near the causeway to the Golden Temple in Amritsar. He is recognisable as an Akali by his tall conical turban decorated with quoits and metal ornaments. Numerous other figures, male and female, can be seen in the background.
Dimensions
  • Sight measure height: 9.875in
  • Sight measure width: 13.75in
Gallery Label
8.AN AKALI SIKH SEATED NEAR THE GOLD [sic] TEMPLE By William Carpenter (1818-99) Watercolour on paper Amritsar, Panjab, 1854 An Akali Sikh is shown sitting near the causeway to the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The Akalis were militant zealots easily recognisable by their tall conical turbans decorated with quoits and metal ornaments. The artist, William Carpenter, was the son of William Hookham Carpenter, Keeper of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, and the portraitist, Margaret Sarah Geddes. He went to India in 1850 to paint portraits and made studies of scenery and daily life, remaining there for seven years. IS.41-1882(2005)
Object history
The artist, William Carpenter, was the son of William Hookham Carpenter, Keeper of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, and the portraitist, Margaret Sarah Geddes. He went to India in 1850 to paint portraits and made studies of scenery and daily life, remaining there for seven years. This painting was one of 134 by William Carpenter bought for a total price of £500 in 1882 following an exhibition of his work in the South Kensington Museum in 1881. Other Carpenter watercolours had been acquired in 1881 and another was acquired in 1885.
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
This watercolour shows an Akali Sikh sitting near the causeway to the 'Golden Temple' or Har Mandir in Amritsar, the principal temple of the Sikhs. The Akalis were a militant sect easily recognisable by their tall conical turbans decorated with quoits and metal ornaments. The artist, William Carpenter, was the son of William Hookham Carpenter, Keeper of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, and the portraitist, Margaret Sarah Geddes. He went to India in 1850 to paint portraits and made studies of scenery and daily life, remaining there for seven years. He was in Amritsar in 1854 and there painted views of the Golden Temple. Carpenter exhibited his watercolours in the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) in 1881 and the Museum has a large collection of his work. This painting was one of 134 by Carpenter bought by the Museum in 1882. Other Carpenter watercolours had been acquired in 1881 and another was acquired in 1885.
Bibliographic Reference
Rohatgi, Pauline, and Parlett, Graham. Indian Life and Landscape by Western Artists : paintings and drawings from the Victoria and Albert Museum : 17th to early 20th century. London and Mumbai, Victoria and Albert Museum and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, 2008. ISBN8190102095. pp. 264-280.
Collection
Accession Number
IS.41-1882

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record createdJuly 1, 2008
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