In Good Company: Exhibition at Bonhams of a Private Collection of Fine Indian Paintings influenced by the Raj
In January 2020, Bonhams will play host to In Good Company, an exhibition from a Private Collection of Fine Indian Paintings under the Influence of the Raj. The exhibition, staged in collaboration with the Arts of Hindostan, is being held at Bonhams, 101 New Bond Street London. It runs from Thursday 9 January – 17 January inclusive, weekdays only, 9.00 am – 4.30 pm.
The foreword to the exhibition catalog explains the background to In Good Company.
"In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Indian artists were commonly employed mainly by the British East India Company, and their officials to record picturesque sites, monuments, Gods and festivals, trades and occupations, Indian royalty, the Zenana and the Nautchkhana and the households of the British Sahibs. Their work, a blend of Indian and European styles is known as Company painting or "Kampani Kalam" in local parlance."
As demand grew from European patrons, master artists started to emerge. Ghulam Ali Khan and his circle from Delhi, Shaikh Muhammad Amir of Karraya, Sewak Ram from Patna, the famous Impey artists- Zayn al Din and Bhawani Das and the Vellore master among others. These artists are all represented in the exhibition.
Bonhams Head of Islamic and Indian Art, Oliver White said, "In Good Company offers the chance to see outstanding examples of the work of Indian artists operating at the height of the East India Company's influence on the subcontinent. Some of the pieces were commissioned for official and scientific purposes, but for many Europeans they formed a pictorial record which they could take back home to remind them of their lives in India."