www.IndianMiniaturePaintings.co.uk - Dakaut (fortune teller). Anglo-Indian school at Delhi, circa 1835. Opaque watercolour heightened with gold on paper with an accompanying page of description in Urdu, the finely written text by Muhammad Bakhsh. Folio 33.3 x 20cm; image 17 x 11.4cm

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Dakaut (fortune teller). Anglo-Indian school at Delhi, circa 1835. Opaque watercolour heightened with gold on paper with an accompanying page of description in Urdu, the finely written text by Muhammad Bakhsh. Folio 33.3 x 19.8cm; image 17 x 11.4cm

From an album commonly refered to as of 'castes and occupations' with paintings the resulting from a hybrid of Mughal court and European traditions; vibrant colour and precise detail with shading and prespective. These were further combined by the artist's sensitivity in capturing individual character traits at a standard of skill comparable to those produced for Col. James Skinner in 1825, and it is thought the artist here may have been influenced by that particular Skinner album. Beneath the image in an English hand is written 'Dakaut', which is the title of a caste of brahmins which considered impure by the orthodoxy so who may perform not perform ritual ceremonies and instead earn their living by fortune telling. The Skinner album features a similarly portrayed Dakaut, indicating that this painting refers to it. (British Llibrary, filename K90085-99, source Add. 27255, f.114v)

Ref: 0000478

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Above: gilt detail reflecting light

Images and text © Peter Blohm