This group of watercolours was probably collected by an English resident in Tanjore who signed the watercolours on the reverse and inscribed them with their titles. They are typical examples of the Tanjore style of painting, executed by moochys, artists who moved to Tanjore from Hyderabad, attracted by the patronage of the local rulers and later the English.
Early Tanjore style, was typified by character studies holding the various implements of their trade, with a black looped shadow at their feet, against plain brightly coloured backgrounds and a band of turbulent clouds across the top of the composition. As the style developed into the 19th century, a more complete landscape background was introduced and the depiction of the cloud developed so that it began to dominate the background of the composition.
Lashkar has a number of meanings including artillery man, sailor and tent-pitcher.
It has been suggested that the watercolour inscribed 'carpenter' is more likely to be a policeman or official as he is carrying a lathi (or stick).
For similar watercolours see M. Archer, Company Paintings Indian Painting of the British Period, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1992, pp. 45-51.