Portrait of Hyder Beg Khan, the Minister to the Nawab of A Wadh, Asaf-Au-Daula thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Portrait Miniatures, Room 90a, The International Music and Art Foundation Gallery

Portrait of Hyder Beg Khan, the Minister to the Nawab of A Wadh, Asaf-Au-Daula

Miniature
1786 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

During the late 18th century a number of British artists--miniaturists, oil painters, watercolourists--went to India to work for the British community and local Indian dignitaries and royalty. Many, such as Ozias Humphry, believed that India would provide them not only with a better living than could be had in the crowded market of London, but indeed a fortune.

Humphry resolved to go to India upon hearing that at that time there was no ‘tolerable miniature painter’there. The East India Company granted him permission to travel and to paint miniatures on the boat over to cover his costs. But Humphry's experience of India proved to be a bitter one, culminating in his suing the crew for lost earnings on his voyage home, only three years later, when his cabin was too small for him to use as a studio. The fact was that the expatriate community certainly wanted their miniatures painted--there was much exchange of letters and miniatures on the mail ships that went back and forth. But the richest patrons, the Indian princes, were remiss in paying for the work. One nawab owed Humphry for seven months work, but since he also owed the East India Company money, the company's claim was put first.

The work is inscribed on the back of the ivory, probably in the artist's hand, "Hyder Beg Khan / the minister of [...] Asoph ul Dowlah / 1786 / Lucknow" (The current spelling is 'Asaf-Au-Daula').


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Watercolour on ivory
Brief Description
Portrait miniature of Haidar Beg Khan, Minister to Asaf-Ud-Daula, Nawab of Oudh (Avadh), dated 1786, by Ozias Humphry, R.A. (1742-1810).
Physical Description
Oval miniature set in a rectangular frame. Portrait of a man wearing white robes and turban, seated between two pillars. He appears to hold a piece of paper (textile?) with a red seal attached. The work is inscribed on the back of the ivory, probably in the artist's hand, "Hyder Beg Khan / the minister of [...] Asoph ul Dowlah / 1786 / Lucknow".
Dimensions
  • Height: 89mm
  • Width: 75mm
Style
Credit line
Alan Evans Bequest, given by the National Gallery
Subjects depicted
Summary
During the late 18th century a number of British artists--miniaturists, oil painters, watercolourists--went to India to work for the British community and local Indian dignitaries and royalty. Many, such as Ozias Humphry, believed that India would provide them not only with a better living than could be had in the crowded market of London, but indeed a fortune.



Humphry resolved to go to India upon hearing that at that time there was no ‘tolerable miniature painter’there. The East India Company granted him permission to travel and to paint miniatures on the boat over to cover his costs. But Humphry's experience of India proved to be a bitter one, culminating in his suing the crew for lost earnings on his voyage home, only three years later, when his cabin was too small for him to use as a studio. The fact was that the expatriate community certainly wanted their miniatures painted--there was much exchange of letters and miniatures on the mail ships that went back and forth. But the richest patrons, the Indian princes, were remiss in paying for the work. One nawab owed Humphry for seven months work, but since he also owed the East India Company money, the company's claim was put first.



The work is inscribed on the back of the ivory, probably in the artist's hand, "Hyder Beg Khan / the minister of [...] Asoph ul Dowlah / 1786 / Lucknow" (The current spelling is 'Asaf-Au-Daula').
Bibliographic Reference
Summary Catalogue of Miniatures in the Victoria and Albert Museum, Emmett Microform, 1981
Collection
Accession Number
EVANS.142

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record createdFebruary 26, 2003
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