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 Museum Explorer

Daily life in Asia

Painted figures for sale

Asia OA 1948.10-9.0156

Stall for the sale of painted figures

From: northern India
Date: around AD 1850

British people working in India bought paintings like these by Indian artists for family and friends back home to show them what daily life in India was like. There were no photographs then, so this was the only way they could show their family some of the places around them.

The woman is sitting on her stall selling brightly coloured models. On the top shelf are figures of the Hindu goddesses Kali and Durga. Can you find four models of the elephant-headed god Ganesha? You may also be able to pick out cows, tigers and elephants with riders. The man seated on the ground is making clay pots in many sizes, which are also for sale.