A horse and groom

Maker(s)
Artist: Sheikh Muhammad Amir (19th century)
Historical period(s)
ca. 1840
School
Company School
Medium
Opaque watercolor, pencil and ink with touches of white and gum arabic
Dimensions
H x W: 28 x 44.5 cm (11 x 17 1/2 in)
Geography
India, West Bengal state, Kolkata (Calcutta)
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1999.121
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Album, Painting
Type

Album leaf with painting

Keywords
horse, India, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Label

Sheikh Muhammad Amir of Karraya (a suburb of Calcutta), the greatest of the Calcutta Company School painters, specialized in portraying the domestic lives of the British in India. Collected in albums, his paintings record prized possessions and testify to British efforts to recreate their customs in an unfamiliar land.

The renowned artist's most powerful paintings are those that depict horses and grooms. Although the subject is traditional--court painters had long produced images of favorite horses for Indian royalty--the accomplished shading and textures, accurate anatomy, and cast shadows evince Sheikh Muhammad Amir's mastery of the new style. Here, his subtle balance of emphatic silhouette with exquisite detail results in a refined image with an almost disturbing air of stillness.

Published References
  • Christie's (London). Visions of India. London, October 5, 1999. lot 114, p. 83.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court., 2nd. Washington and Ahmedabad, India, 2012. cat. 61, p. 191.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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