A Syce (Groom) Holding Two Carriage Horses

Artist: attributed to Shaikh Muhammad Amir of Karraya (active 1830s–40s)

Object Name: Illustrated single work

Date: ca. 1845

Geography: Made in India, Calcutta

Medium: Opaque watercolor on paper

Dimensions: H. 12 in. (30.5 cm)
W. 20 in. (50.8 cm)

Classification: Codices

Credit Line: Louis E. and Theresa S. Seley Purchase Fund for Islamic Art and Rogers Fund, 1994

Accession Number: 1994.280


Many of the East India Company officers who commissioned paintings during the nineteenth century sought a visual record of their own households, including animals, possessions, and servants. Shaikh Muhammad Amir of Karraya specialized in such paintings and depicted these subjects with a naturalism that is both dignified and poetic. In this work the artist has painted a syce, or groom, symmetrically flanked by almost identical horses.