- Museum number
Gouache painting on paper from a portfolio of sixty-three paintings of deities and daily life. Ten vignettes showing ascetics and other religious figures.
a) An ascetic, devoted to Śiva, dressed in a minute loin-cloth sits in padmasana on a tiger skin with a disciple.
b) A standing naked ascetic with closely cropped hair and no beard.
c) An ascetic, dressed in a minute loin-cloth, wearing toe-knob sandals, a stick in his right hand and with a staff resting on his left shoulder, with a disciple.
d) An ascetic with flowing hair and beard, with tripundra (symbol of devotion to Śiva) marks on his body with his left leg is flexed and tied in a sling. A crutch assists his walking.
e) An ash-smeared ascetic, with his hair wound around the head in the guise of a turban, a leopard skin draped on his shoulder, a gourd in his left hand and a rudrakshamala in his right is accompanied by a disciple.
f) A pilgrim, dressed in a russet dhoti, a jacket, and angavastra tied around the waist. On his left shoulder he balances a pole, balanced on either end by a container held firmly in place by a bamboo tripod.
g) A pilgrim to the shrine of Dandayudhapani at Palani. On his shoulders he balances a heavy kavati adorned by a bunch of peacock’s feathers at both ends. He is flanked by two diminutive men, one of whom is beating a gong while the other blows a trumpet.
e) A dasari accompanied by a couple performing a vrata. The dasari carries a standing lamp, a gong with a mallet and a begging bowl hangs from his shoulder. Vaishnava namams are drawn on his forehead and neck. Behind him are a man and his wife, both wearing a silver mouthlock piercing their cheeks.
f) A sattani and his wife. The man carries a small banner with the Vaishnava emblems of chakra, namam and shankha in his right hand. In his left hand he holds a large ribbed begging bowl.
g) A Tadan or Dasari, a mendicant wears a 'Phrygian' bonnet, and large Vaishnava emblems drawn of his forehead, chest and stomach. The man seems to beat himself with a lit torch, while his wife beats the gong.
- 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:
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