Juggler

c. 1840
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

Cowrie shells, in front of him, were used as money.

Description

A page from a book of paintings that would have included images of various entertainments in India, this painting is rendered in a European style for British consumption. The label Juggler is written in a Victorian-era hand in the margin below. The main figure is seated on the ground with his knees drawn tightly up under his chin, reinforcing a Western stereotype that all Indian people can do physical feats with their bodies, like yogis. On display are his talents of manipulating balls on a two-stringed bow, called “juggling” by the British owner of the painting for lack of a better moniker. His performance was intended to create a spectacle for entertainment and income. This painting would have been made for sale too, in the new economy under British dominance in which Indian artists made documentary pictures for foreign overlords.
Juggler

Juggler

c. 1840

India, Company School, Lucknow or Patna, 19th century

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