Figure of a standing Dutchman wearing a red coat


  • Title

    Figure of a standing Dutchman wearing a red coat

  • Associated place

    Gujarat (place of creation)
  • Date

    18th century (1701 - 1800)
  • Material and technique

    wood, painted

  • Material index

  • Technique index

  • Object type

  • Dimensions

    89 x 27.5 x 18 cm sight size (height x width x depth)
    with stand 89 x 33 x 31 cm (height x width x depth)
  • No. of items


  • Credit line

    Purchased, 1968.

  • Museum location

  • Museum department

    Eastern Art

  • Accession no.


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  • Catalogue text

    This pained, half life-sized figure of a European is flat and unfinished at the back and may once have been mounted as a freestanding sculpture on a rectangular stand. The subject is most likely modelled on the Dutch East India Company officers who resided in some numbers at Surat in the late 17th and early 18th centuries and travelled from there to Agra and the U.P. region to buy textiles and indigo. This Dutchman wears a typical red coat, with the addition of an Indian floral pattern, and with yellow trimmings and large pockets on the outside. He is red-lipped and his periwig, carved with pronounced curls, was formerly black.

    Figures of firangīs (“Franks” or Europeans) began to appear as exotic decorative features in the 18th century, for example in the palace building at Udaipur in Rajasthan and at Bhuj in Kutch. The latter became an important centre of European artistic influence, due to the innovations of the legendary Rām Siṅgh Malam, “the Navigator”, who is said to have thrice visited Europe and introduced a wide range of Western technical skills on his return.

    In: Harle, J. C., and Andrew Topsfield, Indian Art in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1987)

Further reading

Harle, J. C., and Andrew Topsfield, Indian Art in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1987), no. 105 on p. 93, illus. p. 93

Reference URL

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