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A village dweller

circa 1770


Company school


late 18th century – late 19th century

  • Details

    Other Titles
    A peasant or village dweller
    The village dweller
    Place where the work was made
    Thanjavur (Tanjore) Tamil Nadu India
    Cultural origin
    Company school; probably by a Muslim artist working in Thanjavur
    circa 1770
    Media categories
    Painting , Watercolour
    Materials used
    opaque watercolour with gold on paper
    22.0 x 16.0 cm image; 28.0 x 23.0 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Gift of Mr George Sandwith 1957
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Company school

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Indian export or Company painting emerged in the latter part of the 18th century when Indian artists who had previously painted for Mughal and Rajput patrons began painting for the European residents of India, many of whom were employed with the British East India Company. British patrons commissioned Indian painters to make detailed images of festivals, architectural sites, natural history studies of flora and fauna and sets of drawing of occupations and customs of the local populations.

    Several distinct styles and sub-schools of Company painting developed throughout India as well as regions beyond, such as Sri Lanka and Burma. This painting, like the others in the set included in the collection, show neatly drawn couples of men and women of different castes and occupations, mostly drawn in profile, many holding tools of their trade, set against bright, opaque backgrounds. This painting was most likely made by artists working in the Thanjavur (Tanjore) style and was produced for sale in the British commercial hub of Chennai (Madras).

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • unknown, Georges Melbourne Pty Ltd, Melbourne

      unknown, Royal Empire Society, London

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

  • Provenance

    Warren Hastings, circa 1770-1818, England, possibly commissioned in Madras (Chennai), India by Hastings between 1769 and 1772. Probably exported from India to England, 1785 or before. Held in the collection of Warren Hastings until his death in 1818.

    Marian Hastings, 1818-1837, England, inherited from Warren Hastings.

    Charles von Imhoff, 1837, England, inherited from Marian Hastings.

    Private Collection, pre Aug 1853, England, purchased by a resident on the estate of Daylesford House from a sale of the contents of Daylesford House, Worcestershire (Gloucestershire from 1931), 22–27 August 1853 or before.

    George Sandwith, 1939-18 Apr 1958, England, purchased on the estate of Daylesford House, Gloucestershire, 1939. Presented by Mr George Sandwith FRGS to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. 25 October 1957, received 18 April 1958.

Other works by Company school

See all 45 works