The infant Nadir al-Mulk Muhammad al-Daula Baxter Bahadur Daulat Rajah, seated on a ledge with a nurse and a male attendant
British School, late 18th Century
oil on canvas, framed
92 x 72 cm.
- This portrait of Nadir Baxter, the second son of Sarah and John Baxter, was painted by his mother in India in 1793. Sarah Baxter (née Buck, 1770-1796) was a miniaturist from Norfolk who exhibited a portrait of a lady at the Royal Academy in 1788 and was later honoured by the United Friars Society in Norwich in 1790 for a portrait in oils of one of the friars, Brother Walker. In 1791 she married a widower, John Baxter, who had established his business as a merchant in Calcutta. She accompanied him on his return there. This portrait of their second son Nadir was painted by Sarah Baxter before the family left Calcutta for Berhampur in 1793. Clearly, John and Sarah Baxter were fond of and impressed by Indian culture by choosing to baptise their second son Nadir with a full Persian title, although his brothers were named John and Robert. Some years after the death of his mother, Nadir travelled to England (circa 1807) where his maternal grandmother attempted to rechristen him as William much to the fury of his father.
Published with further references in M. Archer, India and British Portraiture 1770-1825, London 1979, pl. 317, pp. 400-402.