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A SIKH SCHOOL
A SIKH SCHOOL
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A SIKH SCHOOL

LAHORE, PUNJAB PLAINS, CIRCA 1840

Details
A SIKH SCHOOL
LAHORE, PUNJAB PLAINS, CIRCA 1840
Opaque pigments heightened with gold on paper, depicting a kneeling teacher facing seven reading pupils, a street scene before the school, in thick light blue and pink margins, mounted
10 ¾ x 14 5/8in. (27.4 x 37.4cm.)
Sale Room Notice
Please note that the estimate for this lot is £10,000-15,000.

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Lot Essay

This painting belongs to a known series of depictions of trades and occupations in the Punjab. A number were sold at auction recently including paintings of a brass merchant (Bonham’s, London, 05 April 2011, lot 305; Christie’s, South Kensington, 10 June 2013, lot 175; Sotheby’s, London, the Sven Ghalin collection, 06 October 2015, lot 104); or that of an apothecary (Bonhams, London, 14 March 2016, lot 113). An illustration of a cloth merchant’s shop is in the Brooklyn Museum, attributed to Lahore, circa 1850 (Amy Poster, Realms of Heroism, New York, 1994, cat.247, p.298). The Brooklyn painting is ascribed to Basarat, son of Dutta.

They all follow a formal set up following a simple guideline: to portray an influential figure, a rich merchant or patron, usually depicted composed and sitting, visiting a merchant’s shop. In this case we are looking at a teacher and his pupils. These paintings are an interesting take on the more formal and repeated formula of the ruler and attendants set within a courtly context. The perspective, the realistic rendering and the light atmosphere of the scene make this painting, and the others of the series, very informative. Such paintings were intentionally directed to a foreign audience and fulfilled the demand of British patrons in India.

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