Mica painting of a Hindu festival, probably 3rd quarter of 19th century
The mica painting, 7½ a 5½ ins, shows a festival in Bengal and was probably painted by an artist from Patna or Murshidabad. We have suggested it is post 1857 but it could be a bit earlier. The presence of a drummer in British style uniform, possibly a Sepoy, is an interesting touch. Although not of the finest quality it is a more unusual subject than is usually found and has the merit that the paint is undamaged apart from a few small areas of the earthen foreground. It is taped at the corners to a modern piece of card for use in a window mount. There is a little damage to the mica at the corners. oct7/3
This type of painting on mica became very popular in the later Company period and the medium particularly enhanced the bright colours of the subjects. The commonest to be found are sets of individuals showing various local crafts and others showing the range of Indian servants to be found in the smart household. These larger examples with numerous figures would have been more expensive and therefore are loss commonly encountered.They were very popular items to be taken ‘home’ with departing families or sent to show relatives something of life in far off India.
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