A PAINTING OF A COPPER-HEADED TRINKET SNAKE (COELOGNATHUS RADIATUS)
A PAINTING OF A COPPER-HEADED TRINKET SNAKE (COELOGNATHUS RADIATUS)
A PAINTING OF A COPPER-HEADED TRINKET SNAKE (COELOGNATHUS RADIATUS)
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A PAINTING OF A COPPER-HEADED TRINKET SNAKE (COELOGNATHUS RADIATUS)

INDIA, COMPANY SCHOOL, CALCUTTA, CIRCLE OF BHAWANI DAS, CIRCA 1778-82

Details
A PAINTING OF A COPPER-HEADED TRINKET SNAKE (COELOGNATHUS RADIATUS)
INDIA, COMPANY SCHOOL, CALCUTTA, CIRCLE OF BHAWANI DAS, CIRCA 1778-82
21 1/8 x 17 ½ in. (53.7 x 44.5 cm.)
Provenance
From the Estate of Philip Isaacson (1924–2013), Lawyer and Art Critic and Former Chairman of the Maine Arts Commission.

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Hannah Perry
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Lot Essay

The present painting is from rare group of Company School watercolors, which follow in the footsteps of a series of paintings of snakes by the artist Bhawani Das. Bhawani Das was commissioned by Lady Elijah Impey to produce paintings of her collection of animals and fauna on her estate outside Calcutta, though he more frequently known for his depictions of birds and mammals than serpents. A few unpublished paintings of snakes signed by Bhawani Das produced for the Impey Album are now in the collection of the Wellcome Library in London (inv. 566384i, 566431i, 566421i, 566414i, 566427i, 566432i). These comparable works, like ours, were all painted on identical J. Whatman watermarked paper with a central crease which can be dated to the late 18th century. Several paintings from the present series are numbered in the lower right hand corner in a very similar manner to the Wellcome Library paintings. This would suggest that our folios were produced in Calcutta possibly in the same studio where Bhawani Das and the other artists were working on the Impey Album. Further works from this series sold at Christie’s London, 8 October 2015, lots 182, 183, and 185.

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