[A group of 10 full length figurative paintings depicting local types and tradesmen].

COMPANY SCHOOL  ([c.1810].)


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Gouache on wove paper, each with a manuscript caption in ink in a contemporary hand. Each on a trimmed sheet between 210 by 120mm and 227 by 185mm. A few occasional faint spots to paper, minor paint flaking at ear of "Chuckler", else very good. N.p. [Madras?] n.d., 

A finely painted suite of figurative portraits depicting local tradesmen and types, probably executed in Madras at the turn of the nineteenth century. The captions read: Dhoby; His wife, Chuckler; Beetle seller Moorman; Duffadan; Pundarum / Beggar; Butler; Conicopoly / accountant; his wife, Oil Monger; Dubash; Moorman Tailor.


Rendered in the Company style, these portraits were likely produced by a local artist for the British military market. The English language captions show a familiarity with some Tamil works, for example "conicopoly" for accountant. The use of "Moorman" was a South Indian convention to denote a person of mixed Muslim and Indian heritage.  


The trades depicted range from the shirtless "Dhoby" (a person who does laundry) to the well dressed "Dubash" or translator. They show a variety of different sartorial conventions, including that of the Hindu mystic, or Pundarum. Particular care and attention has been paid to the different fabrics, with minute detail given to rendering patterns and textures. Two of the pictures also include the wife of the tradesman, the chuckler (cobbler) and the oil monger. In both cases they are in similar poses, handing their husbands an implement of their craft. 


Stock Code: 245322

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