Sheikh Muhammad Amir of Karraya (fl. 1830-50) was an influential artist who worked for the British in Calcutta during the 19th century in a time of great prosperity. He delighted patrons with paintings of their houses, servants, carriages and horses. In deference to Western traditions he introduced shadows into his art and similar ploys that are incorporated for their aesthetic rather than logical value. One of his best known clients was the businessman Thomas Holroyd, for whom he executed many of these scenes. An album of paintings that were made for Holroyd by Sheikh Muhammad Amir was presented to the Oriental Club in 1839 - it has now been split and is in public and private collections.
For published works by Sheikh Muhammad Amir see John Guy and Deborah Swallow, Arts of India. 1550-1900, London, 1990, p.198, no. 173 and Stuart Cary Welch, Room for Wonder. Indian Painting during the British Period 1760-1880, New York, 1978, pp.67-72, nos.20-24. Similar works have sold in these Rooms, 24 September 2003, lot 140 and 5 October 1999, lot 114. More recently another sold in these Rooms, 5 October 2010, lot 386.