Company School, India – Monuments of Agra and Delhi

Out of stock

Monuments of Agra and Delhi, circa 1840s (fifteen good size watercolours). Pen and ink and watercolour on paper, variously inscribed, unframed. High resolution images can be sent on request.

The measurements are for the framed black lines encompassing the image. The sheet sizes are approximately 2-3 cm outside of the frame-lines.

1. The Taj Mahal, Agra 14.5 x 19 cm.
2. The Taj Mahal, Agra, from the Garden 15.5 x 22 cm.
3. One of the side buildings of the Taj, Agra 15 x 19 cm.
4. Tomb of Shah Jehan in the Taj Mahal 15 x 19.3 cm.
5. Screen in the Taj Mahal, enveloping the Tombs 14.5 x 18.3 cm.
6. Inlaid work and Marble Carving at the base of the Arches of the Taj Mahal 19.5 x 14.7 cm.
7. End view of the Tombstone of Shah Jehan in the Taj Mahal 19.2 x 15.2 cm.
8. Inlaid work in the inside of the Screen of the Taj Mahal 17 x 12.7 cm.
9. Inlaid work in the inside of the Screen of the Taj Mahal 18.7 x 14.4 cm.
10. Inlaid Pebble Ornaments on the outside of the Screen in the Taj Mahal 18 x 13.8 cm.
11. Interior of the Taj Mahal, Agra 15 x 9 cm.
12. Fakir’s Tomb, Fattehpore Sikree (Fatehpur Sikri) 12.8 x 17 cm.
13. Alma Dowlah’s Tomb (Etmad-al-Dowlah) 13.7 x 17.8 cm.
14. Molee Masjid (Moti Masjid) Fort, Agra 14 x 18 cm.
15. The Koolub, (Qutub Minar) Delhi 18.5 x 14.2 cm.


In the early 19th century, Indian miniature painters found a lucrative market for their work among the newly arrived European merchants, soldiers, and civil servants. They were often commissioned by European patrons to produce albums of paintings depicting the trades, occupations, and architecture of India. This was the era of East India Company expansion in India. Company School is a name used for the paintings made by Indian miniature painters who adopted many western techniques to make this new style of image.


Company School - India

‘Company painting’ is a broad term for a variety of hybrid styles that developed as a result of European (especially British) influence on Indian artists from the early 18th to the 19th centuries. It evolved as a way of providing paintings that would appeal to European patrons who found the purely indigenous styles not to their taste. As many of these patrons worked for the various East India companies, the painting style came to be associated with the name, although it was in fact also used for paintings produced for local rulers and other Indian patrons. The subject matter of company paintings made for western patrons was often documentary rather than imaginative, and as a consequence, the Indian artists were required to adopt a more naturalistic approach to painting than had traditionally been usual. Europeans commissioned sets of images depicting festivals and scenes from Indian life or albums illustrating the various castes and occupations, as well as the architecture, plants and animals of the sub-continent. While most of the works were painted on paper, there was also a fashion for images of Mughal monuments and Mughal rulers and their wives painted on small plaques of ivory. This increased use of western approaches to painting coincided with the later phases of local painting styles, as manifested in centres such as Lucknow, Murshidabad and Delhi in North India and Mysore and Thanjavur in the South. As a result, the line between ‘company’ painting and later provincial work for local patrons is often blurred.