Sunday, May 25, 2014

Painting of the Day: The Bhotiya Villager, 1866

R. Clint, 1866
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Here’s a bit of museum weirdness. Not only does the V&A have no information (none whatsoever) about the artist, R. Clint, who painted this piece, they actually cataloged it for many, many decades as an Indian painting.

The piece was acquired by the V&A in the late Nineteenth Century. At that time, its wooden mount was given an incorrect accession number, and the painting was included with a collection of art from India. The mistake wasn’t discovered until 2004.

The painting depicts a Bhotiya villager from Spituk in Ladakh. He’s carrying a basket containing wood. It seems it was painted in Simla (Punjab State) in March of 1866. It’s one of a set of three similar watercolors by this mysterious R. Clint. The other two are in the British Library.

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