The Tanjore School artists had migrated all over the south of India by the 1820s, and produced their best work in Madras and Vellore. They excelled in the depiction of textiles and volumetric figures. The albums produced normally showed three couples per page, as in the present watercolour.
An album of drawings, some showing three castes and occupations on each sheet, dated circa 1828, is in the India Office Library. Fig. 1 shows dancing girls and musicians, from this album (see M. Archer, Company Drawings in the India Offica Library, London, 1972, pp. 36). The present watercolour also relates to an album in the Victoria & Albert Museum (see M. Archer, Company Painting: Indian Paintings of the British Period, London, 1992, p. 60, nos. 26 (15 & 17)).