Calcutta school, Early 19th century Opaque watercolor on paper; one depicted with a loose turban, red shirt and rudraksha seed necklace holding a scroll. The other in a white turban, wild beard and green jama holding a shield. Image: 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 in. (24.1 x 19 cm.)
Eastern Morung, a small strip of land at the northern end of West Bengal and on the eastern borders of Nepal was the object of contention between Nepal, Sikkim and British Indian in the late eighteenth century as all trade routes to Darjeeling and Sikkim lay through this region. British occupied Morung during the Anglo-Nepalese war and later gave it to Sikkim in the hope of establishing a stable trade route through Sikkim to Tibet.
It is likely that the Morung chiefs would have visited Calcutta during this period of the early 19th century and would have been the subject of local artists for their British patrons. For further discussion see Marshall, Britain and Tibet 1765-1947, p. 68
Provenance: Estate of Carl S. Dentzel, Los Angeles Acquired prior to 1980
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