Indian and Himalayan Art
A European ConcoctionMade in Udaipur, Rajasthan, Mewar Region, India, Asia
Artist/maker unknown, India
Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver-colored paint on paper
Currently not on view
2004-149-59125th Anniversary Acquisition. Alvin O. Bellak Collection, 2004
LabelImages of Europeans were popular in eighteenth-century Mewar, but the Indian artists who drew these subjects were not always kind to them. This painter was downright devilish. On the left, two long-nosed, leering men huddle together, one wearing an English-style wig and smoking a pipe. A child and a dog seem, oddly, to be climbing up the second man, who has lost both his wig and his dignity. The bony figure on the right seems to be giving a tremendous shriek through his toothy mouth; a snake has wound around his neck and bites his chin! Miniature animals prowl and play on the carpet-but are they alive or are they woven into the design? The scene is a fantastic concoction of elements copied from different European sources, quite possibly including the satirical engravings of the English artist William Hogarth.