The technique of oil painting was adopted by Indian artists soon after it was introduced into the country through their British counterparts in the late 18th Century. Several so-called "Company School" artists began experimenting in oil, producing pictures in a hybrid style that bridged the gap between traditional watercolour techniques and later academic oil painting. This trend was extended in the course of the 19th Century, resulting in a distinct indigenous style of painting. Not much is known about these early oil painters but it is likely that the following four pictures were painted by a member of the Naidu clan of court artists based in Travancore, now Kerala.
We are grateful to Dr. Partha Mitter for his assistance in cataloguing these pictures.