Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Great Indian Fruit Bat

Artist:
Painting attributed to Bhawani Das
Object Name:
Illustrated single work
Date:
ca. 1777–82
Geography:
India, Calcutta
Culture:
Colonial British
Medium:
Pencil, ink, and opaque watercolor on paper
Dimensions:
Painting: Ht. 23 1/2 in. (59.7 cm) W. 32 3/4 in. (83.2 cm) Mat size: Ht. 27 1/4 in. (69.2 cm) W. 35 1/2 in. (90.2 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Anonymous Gift, Cynthia Hazen Polsky Gift, Virginia G. LeCount Bequest, in memory of The LeCount Family, 2007 Benefit Fund, Louis V. Bell, Harris Brisbane Dick, Fletcher, and Rogers Funds and Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and Gift of Dr. Mortimer D. Sackler, Theresa Sackler and Family, 2008
Accession Number:
2008.312
Not on view
This watercolor belongs to the larger tradition of Company painting, or works made by Indian artists for English patrons (usually employees of the East India Company, hence the name of the school). Its anonymous artist is believed to have been in the circle of painters who worked for Sir Elijah Impey, Chief Justice of Bengal from 1774 to 1782, and his wife. They collected specimens of Indian flora and fauna at their estate in Calcutta and commissioned local artists to portray them. Although originally intended as a scientific record, the Impey natural studies are considered among the strongest achievements of the Company School.
Niall Hobhouse, London (by 2001–8; cat., 2001, no. 2); Niall Hobhouse sale, Christie's, London, May 22, 2008, no. 8, to MMA
"Thursday, March 22, 2008." In The Niall Hobhouse Collection. London: Christie's, London, 2008. no. 8.

"A Selection: 2008–2010." Recent Acquisitions vol. 68, no. 2 (Fall 2010). p. 44.

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. 285, pp. 342, 400-401, ill. p. 400 (color).



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