, A religious teacher Enlarge 1 /1
Pahari painting, Guler style A religious teacher c. 1820 Place made: Guler, India
Materials & Technique: paintings, miniatures, opaque watercolour Support: paper
Dimensions: image 14.4 h x 9.8 w cm support 16.8 h x 10.9 w cm
Acknowledgement: The Gayer-Anderson Gift 1954
Accession No: NGA 91.1404
Subject: Religion: professional practitioners
  • With Maggs Bros, London, England, 1952 or before
  • who sold it to Colonel Thomas Gayer Gayer-Anderson, 1952
  • held in the collection of Colonel Thomas Gayer Gayer-Anderson and Major Robert Grenville Gayer-Anderson, Pasha, both of The Little Hall, Lavenham, Suffolk, England, 1952-1953
  • who gave it to the Commonwealth of Australia, 1953
  • held by National Library of Australia, Canberra, after transfer from London, 1954-1991
  • transferred to the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 1991
  • The collecting history of this painting is partial. The earliest known transaction is its purchase by the donor in London in 1952. The National Gallery of Australia welcomes further information regarding its history of ownership prior to 1952.

For centuries, Indian ascetics have dedicated themselves to religious teaching and worship. This image depicts a sage wearing a patchwork cloak and seated on an antelope skin. The subject, similarly represented in identified portraits, appears to be Guru Nanak (1469–1539), founder of the Sikh religion.

Artists of the Punjab region—encompassing parts of Pakistan and the Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh—began to illustrate Sikh subjects after Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780–1839) founded the Sikh empire in the area in 1801.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label