Posted on: 10 March 2013

A male member of William Fullerton's household seated on a European chair smoking a 'huqqa' and holding a sword and a 'lota'

Murshidabad, India

ca. 1760 - ca. 1764 (painted)

Gouache on paper

A man wearing a red 'lungi' or 'dhoti' is smoking a nargila, a sword under his arm and holds a 'lota'. He is seated on a European-style chair on an empty terrace. In the background is a green hedge. One of seven portraits of Indian men and women. He is possibly a "chaukidar".

Style of Dip Chand, Mushidabad/ c.1760-3

These are two of a series of studies of members of his household and other native characters made for William Fullarton at Patna, probably by Dip Chand. The same sparse setting, with a single figure on a European chair on an empty terrace, is common to amny of them. It is noteworthy that Fullarton's household should be shown siting on chairs when he himself was evidently used to sitting on carpets in native fashion. The male subject, who is shown with a 'lota' and common 'huqqa' and clasping a sword, may be a 'chowkidar' or watchman. The imperious lady, squatting on her chair as she smokes a 'bidri'-ware 'huqqa', could conceivably be Fullarton's 'bibi' or mistress.

Copyright: © V&A Images.

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