- Museum number
Gouache painting on paper from a portfolio of sixty-three paintings of deities and daily life. Painting depicting a deceased body being taken to a cremation ground.
- Production date
- 1820 (circa)
Height: 23.80 centimetres
Height: 29 centimetres
Width: 23.50 centimetres (size of page)
Width: 18.80 centimetres (size of the drawings)
- Curator's comments
- Dallapiccola 2010:
This scene shows a Shaiva funeral procession moves through a rural landscape dotted with trees and bushes. The body in a white shroud is carried by four men with their hair shaved but for the tuft at the back of their head. All wear tripundra marks on forehead and body. They are preceded by the chief mourner, clad in white. Behind the stretcher carrying the body, are a group of male mourners. All of them are uniformly dressed in dhoti and angavastra. To the extreme left of the leaf is the funeral pyre and, near it, the attendant waits for the procession to arrive. A vertical stripe of pale blue, suggesting water, concludes the painting to the left.
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
- Formerly in the possession of the last owner’s maternal great-uncle, 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