Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

A Syce (Groom) Holding Two Carriage Horses

attributed to Shaikh Muhammad Amir of Karraya (active 1830s–40s)
Object Name:
Illustrated single work
ca. 1845
India, Calcutta
Opaque watercolor on paper
H. 12 in. (30.5 cm) W. 20 in. (50.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Louis E. and Theresa S. Seley Purchase Fund for Islamic Art and Rogers Fund, 1994
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 464
Many of the East India Company officers who commissioned paintings during the nineteenth century sought a visual record of their own households, including animals, possessions, and servants. Shaikh Muhammad Amir of Karraya specialized in such paintings and depicted these subjects with a naturalism that is both dignified and poetic. In this work the artist has painted a syce, or groom, symmetrically flanked by almost identical horses.
Robert Edward Master, Esq., England; [ Terence McInerney, New York, until 1994; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Indian Court Painting," March 25, 1997–July 6, 1997.

Pal, Pratapaditya. Changing Visions, Lasting images: Calcutta Through 300 Years, edited by Pratapaditya Pal. P. Pal. edition ed. Bombay: Marg Publications, 1990. pp. 134-135.

Kossak, Steven M., ed. Indian Court Painting 16th–19th century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997. no. 81, pp. 130-131, ill. (color).

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 287, pp. 342, 402-403, ill. p. 402 (color).

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