(India late 18th century – late 19th century)
- Other titles:
- The buffet game, Mock fight
- Not on display
- Further information
The acrobats are typical of those numerous sets of depictions of castes and occupations so much favoured by European patrons of Indian painters in the early nineteenth century. In this striking image all attention is focused on the woman balancing on top of the pole. Below her, providing a drum roll to intensify the drama of the act is a drummer playing a double-headed drum that's v-shaped lacing is clearly visible. Both women wear the long saris typical of the Maharashtran region of western India; the saris are long enough for women to be able to wind them between their legs, so achieving a pantaloon effect. The style enables the ease of movement necessary in acrobatic routines as illustrated here but also allowed Maratha women to ride astride on horses and fight in various military campaigns in the eighteenth century.
Jim Masselos, 'Dancing to the flute - Music and dance in Indian art', AGNSW, 1997. pg. 248.
- Place of origin
- Cultural origin
- Company school; probably by a Muslim artist working in Thanjavur
- circa 1800
- Painting, Watercolour
- opaque watercolour with gold and silver on paper
- 22.8 x 18.1 cm image; 28.4 x 23.1 cm sheet
- Signature & date
- Not signed. Not dated.
- Gift of Mr George Sandwith 1957
- Accession number