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A groom with a horse and carriage

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Calcutta (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1845 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Shaykh Muhammad Amir of Karraya (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Opaque watercolour on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    South Asia, Room 41, case V1

  • Public access description

    The pictures made by Indian artists for the British in India are called Company paintings. This is one of two pictures from a set made for a Calcutta resident, showing his house, servants, and pets. The distinguished Company artist Shaikh Muhammad Amir painted them. He worked in the Karraya suburb of Calcutta. From about the 1780s, British residents began to move out of the city centre to the pleasant new suburbs of Chowringhee and Garden Reach. It was here that local artists found plenty of work. Shaikh Muhammad Amir specialised in paintings of the houses and domestic staff of British suburbanites.

  • Physical description

    Artists working at Calcutta portrayed the residences of the British, their servants and carriages, as illustrated in this painting of a groom with a horse and carriage. The groom holds in one hand a fly whisk for the horse and with the other he leads the horse by harness.

  • Marks and inscriptions

    Shaikh Muhammad Amir Musawwir, resident of Karaya.
    Inscription; decoration; Persian; Persian; lower right of picture; ink

  • Dimensions

    Height: 29 cm, Width: 45 cm

  • Descriptive line

    Painting; a groom with a horse and carriage, Calcutta, ca. 1845

  • Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

    Swallow, Deborah and John Guy eds. Arts of India: 1550-1900. text by Rosemary Crill, John Guy, Veronica Murphy, Susan Stronge and Deborah Swallow. London : V&A Publications, 1990. 240 p., ill. ISBN 1851770224, p.198, pl.173.

    Archer, Mildred. Company Paintings Indian Paintings of the British period
    Victoria and Albert Museum Indian Series London: Victoria and Albert Museum, Maplin Publishing, 1992, 105 p ISBN 0944142303

    Arts of Bengal : the heritage of Bangladesh and eastern India : an exhibition organized by the Whitechapel Art Gallery in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum : 9 November-30 December 1979, Whitechapel Art Gallery ..., 12 January-17 February 1980, Manchester City Art Gallery ... . [London]: Whitechapel Art Gallery, [1979] Number: 085488047X (pbk.) :

  • Labels and date

    Shaikh Muhammad Amir
    Watercolour on paper, inscribed in ink
    Calcutta (Kolkata),
    West Bengal
    c. 1845
    Shaikh Muhammad Amir was a prolific artist based in Karraya, Calcutta and active between 1840s and ‘50s. He showed particular skill in his attention to detail. A keen observer of the lives of the British residents, he depicted their homes, carriages, domestic servants and pets. There are three paintings by him in the V&A collection. [01/08/2017]

  • Collection code

    South & South East Asia Collection