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Political encounters

Art and the East India Company

The East India Company was a British trading corporation that gained influence and acquired territory in South Asia during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. East India Company officers presented Indian paintings and manuscripts to George III (r. 1760  –1820) and George IV (r. 1820   –  30) as symbols of victory and control. Indian rulers also sent gifts to the British monarchs as appeals for favour and protection.

The increased presence of Europeans in the Indian Subcontinent had significant impact on the art of the region. As is evident in the paintings here, South Asian artists working for both European and local patrons adopted European techniques and materials in their work.

After Francis Swain Ward (c. 1734-1805)

Muhammad Ali Khan, Nawab of Arcot and the Carnatic

After Robert Ker Porter (1777-1842)

Body of Tippoo Sultaun Recognised by his Family

Johan Joseph Zoffany (Frankfurt 1733-London 1810)

Asaf ud-Daula, Nawab of Oudh

Indian School, 19th century

The Taj Mahal

Indian School, 19th century

Chini ka Rauza, Agra

Attributed to Indian School, 19th century

Akbar Shah II and his sons