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Portrait of Babu Keshub Chandra Gangooly

Portrait of Babu Keshub Chandra Gangooly

Item Description:


REGISTERED ANTIQUITY - NON-EXPORTABLE ITEM (Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Sale at the back of the catalogue)

Oil on canvas

49 ⅞ x 40 in. (126.7 x 101.5 cm.)

Signed ‘B. Hudson’ lower right

Pratap Chandra Sinha (the subject of the following lot) and his brother Ishwar Chandra Sinha were well known figures in their hometown of Kolkata. The Sinha family commissioned the British artist Benjamin Hudson to create several portraits for them after the artist arrived in Kolkata in the mid 1850s, some of family members, and others of important members of the local community. Hudson arrived in Kolkata at a time when academic realism was popular in India, but had fallen out of fashion in the West. He lived in Kolkata and painted there for eight years, receiving commissions from the traders of the East India Company, Indian royals, and prominent Indian families such as the Sinhas, which has been well documented in Kishore Singh’s book on Indian Portraits.

The brothers were responsible for founding the Belgachhiya Theatre in 1858 which was in the village of Belgachhiya in Kolkata. The first play staged at the theatre was a Bangla translation of the Sanskrit play Ratnavali, by Ramnarayan Tarkaratna. The subject of the current painting, Keshub Chandra Gangooly, was a well-known Bengali actor who acted in this play, as confirmed by the black script titled Ratnavali that he holds in his left hand. He also performed in the Bangla play titled Sharmistha, written by Michael Madhusudan Dutt, that was staged at the theatre on 3 September, 1859. It is quite likely that Hudson met him through the theatre and had asked him to pose for him.

‡ Registered Antiquity – Non-exportable Item. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Sale.

* Antiquity or Art Treasure – Non-exportable Item. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Sale.

About The Artist:

BENJAMIN HUDSON (FL.1847 - 1862)



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Portrait of Babu Keshub Chandra Gangooly

Listed price: $1,000,000.00

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