- Museum number
Gouache painting on paper from a portfolio of sixty-three paintings of deities and daily life. Painting on two sheets of paper that have been taped together, depicting a funeral procession moving toward a cremation ground.
- Production date
- 1820 (circa)
Height: 23.80 centimetres
Height: 29 centimetres
Width: 18.80 centimetres (drawing)
Width: 23.50 centimetres (page)
- Curator's comments
- Dallapiccola 2010:
This scene shows a procession moving through a drab landscape in the immediate proximity of a cremation ground. Drummers, gong- and trumpet players head the cortege, followed by the chief mourner, obviously a Vaishnava, shaved but for the tuft of hair at the back of his head, dressed in white, carrying the pot in which smoulders the flame with which he will light the funeral pyre. The body lies on a stretcher carried by four men and it is covered by a yellow cover with elegant floral patterns at both ends. Walking at the side of the stretcher, shielding her face from the sight of the body with a large fan, is a woman in a red sari. To the extreme left on a bare expanse of ground the pyre is readied and nearby it stands the turbaned attendant with a stick in one hand and a blanket draped on his right arm. The nearby river is suggested by a pale blue wash.
The portfolio consists of sixty-three paintings on loose sheets of paper. The series includes images of deities, mendicants and ritual scenes such as a wedding and cremation. Executed on European laid and water-marked paper, with the date 1816 appearing on one sheet, the paintings must have been produced in the immediately following years, c. 1820. There is much use of gold paint and brilliant colours, which is still bright, evidence of the portfolio having been kept closed for long periods since its creation.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Rupert Richardson-Gardner who worked in India in the 1930s. However, given the presence of auction room stickers on several of the paintings (one provides the date of the sale – June 15th 1977), it is more likely that the portfolio was acquired by him during his post-war career in Christie’s (he was a specialist in carpets and rugs, but, given his previous career in India, he probably maintained an interest in things Indian which he saw passing through the sale-rooms).
- Registration number