A Mughal nobleman, possibly an officer serving with Aurangzeb’s armies in the Deccan, sits drinking from a porcelain wine-cup, while a youth in a flowered robe holds the hookah steady for him. Further youthful attendants stand at either side. From the refined naturalism of his style and subtly heightened palette, the artist Ali Reza seems to have been among the Mughal-trained painters who later sought work in the Deccan.
Portrait of William Fullerton of Rosemount of the East India Company
by Dip Chand
India (Murshidabad), Mughal, ca. 1760 - 1764
Opaque watercolors on paper
The pictures made by Indian artists for the British in India are called Company paintings. This one probably depicts William Fullerton of Rosemount, who joined the East India Company’s service in 1744 and was second surgeon in Calcutta in 1751. He was present at the siege of Calcutta in 1756 and became mayor of Calcutta in 1757. In 1763 Fullerton became a surgeon to the Patna Agency. He was the only Englishman to survive the massacre of the English during the war with Mir Kasim of Murshidabad. An excellent linguist, he clearly mixed with Indians more than was common and had one or more Indian bibis (mistresses).