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Portrait of a boy

circa 1840


Company school


late 18th century – late 19th century

No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    circa 1840
    Media category
    Materials used
    pencil and watercolour on paper
    12.0 x 9.5 cm
    Gift of Dr Jim Masselos 2022
    Not on display
    Accession number
    Artist information
    Company school

    Works in the collection


    Artist information
    Sikh artist

    Works in the collection


  • About

    The so-called ‘Company School’ emerged in the latter part of the 18th century when the British overthrew both the Mughal and the Rajput rulers of India. Indian artists, who had previously painted for Mughal and Rajput patrons, instead began painting for the English residents of India, many of whom were employed with the British East India Company. Pictures painted for the British by Indian artists to suit the taste of the new clients came to be known as ‘Company Painting’. Company school artists mostly recorded the occupations and customs of local populations but were also commissioned to document architectural sites and undertake works of scientific investigation including studies of botanical specimens and local fauna and make portraits.

    The patrons of Company School commissions were often less concerned with background or landscape and so paintings of individuals often appear more indicative of certain social or cultural types rather than portraits expressing personality. Despite this tendency, this portrait is a clear attempt to capture the sitter’s physical and personal character.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


Other works by Company school

See all 45 works