image of a brown and tan pelican; frame is black with gold inset

Spotbilled Pelican, c. 1780-1782

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The famed ‘Impey Album,’ to which these 11 natural history studies originally belonged, marks the beginning of a new school in the canon of Indian Painting: that is “Company Painting’’—so called after the British East India Company, which by 1757 had taken effective rule over the sub-continent—spanning from c. 1760-1880 and distinguished by native painters adapting to the needs of Colonial tastes. The result was an emergence of a distinctive Anglo-Indian aesthetic, which we see in the remarkable paintings here. Between 1777-1783, Lady Mary Impey, wife of the recently appointed Chief Justice of Bengal, Sir Elijah Impey, commissioned three artists: a Muslim, Shaik Zain ud-Din, and two Hindus, Bhawani Das and Ram Das (all of whom trained in a Provincial Mughal atelier in the neighboring city of Patna) to record the newfound wonders of her Calcutta aviary and menagerie.

Details
Title
Spotbilled Pelican
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2018.53.5
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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image of a brown and tan pelican; frame is black with gold inset