Courtesan

Description
This lady is probably a courtesan or tawaif. She would be accomplished in the arts of music, dancing and poetry and would entertain the men of the court, particularly in Moghul India. Her elegance and expensive gold-embroidered veil show her high status.

Company School style paintings became popular with wealthy Europeans. It was not uncommon for East India Company officials (who were not employed as medics or botanists) to build their own personal collections of paintings depicting Indian life and flora and fauna. We cannot be sure how local amateur botanist Richard Cresswell came by this collection of 86 Company School works. It is possible Henry Creighton commissioned them during his time as a judge in Calcutta and that on his death the works came back to the UK with his daughter Frances who later married Richard Cresswell.
Accession Loan No.
19/1927/2/89
Simple Name
drawing
Full Name
An Indian Macaroni Lady
Medium
watercolour on paper
Common Name
courtesan
Production Person Surname
anon
Production Country
India
Period Classification
George III (1760-1811)
Collection Class
Drawings
Production Town
Calcutta
Production County
Bengal
Production Area Region
South Asia
Production Continent
Asia
Production Year Low
1780
Production Year High
1810
Inscription / Transcription
HERB. MUS. EXON CRESSWELL COLLECTION 19/1927; No 89; An Indian Macaroni Lady
Family Group

Dimensions
total sheet H 287 mm; total sheet length 477 mm
Created At
2016-10-13 16:49:58
Updated At
2020-01-28 11:43:39

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