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A European Concoction

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Udaipur, Rajasthan, Mewar Region, India, Asia

c. 1760

Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver-colored paint on paper

Image: 10 1/4 × 14 3/8 inches (26 × 36.5 cm) Sheet: 10 3/4 × 15 inches (27.3 × 38.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Alvin O. Bellak Collection, 2004

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Images 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.