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Self-Portrait of a Painter at Work

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Marwar Region, India, Asia

c. 1750

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

Image: 5 5/8 × 3 5/8 inches (14.3 × 9.2 cm) Sheet: 7 1/4 × 3 5/8 inches (18.4 × 9.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Bequest of William P. Wood, 1996

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In this self-portrait, a painter depicts himself in a peaceful garden, at work on an image of a large flowering plant adhered to a board that he holds on his lap. On the ground beside him are his tools: oblong clamshells filled with paint, an ornamental box for his hollow-reed pens and squirrel-tail hair brushes, and knives used for a variety of tasks from trimming paper to sharpening pens. The paints used in Indian paintings were composed of pigments ground into a powder and mixed with a binder, usually gum arabic. Pigments came from organic sources, such as plants and insects, as well as from minerals and metals.