Company paintings

The Company School paintings in the TAPI Collection illuminate the everyday lives of regular Indian folk in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Rendered in water colours, these charming vignettes were drawn by Indian artists for the officers of the East India Company. Adapted to foreign taste, these paintings fused indigenous and European artistic influences to depict exotic facets of life and the people of India.

Unlike miniature paintings that portrayed courtly and formal subjects, this collection, in particular, sheds light on the various trades, crafts, occupations, castes and costumes of ordinary people before the advent of photography, providing a rare glimpse into India’s past.