Deccan painting, possibly Machilipatnam style Portrait of a beauty [A Maddrassi woman standing facing left] c. 1780 Place made: Andhra Pradesh, India
Materials & Technique: paintings, miniatures, opaque watercolour, gold leaf Support: paper
Primary Insc: Inscribed upper centre, above image, pencil, in Telugu.
Tertiary Insc: Inscribed lower right, within image, blue ink 'GAP251'; inscribed upper left edge, black ink (upside down) 'GA.P251'.
Dimensions: image 18.1 h x 11.3 w cm border 24.8 h x 16.8 w cm
Acknowledgement: The Gayer-Anderson Gift 1954
Accession No: NGA 91.1411
Subject: Portrait: female, dancer
  • Acquired by Henry Russell, 2nd Baronet, while stationed in Hyderabad, Telangana, India, between 1800 and 1820
  • probably exported from India by Henry Russell, 1820
  • probably held in the collection of Sir Henry Russell, 2nd Baronet, of Swallowfield Park, Reading, Berkshire, England, 1820-1852
  • after the death of Sir Henry Russell in 1852 the collection may have passed by descent through various successive generations of the Russell family, but it was dispersed by sale at some point between 1852 and 1952
  • with Walker Galleries, 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 the late Major Robert Grenville Gayer-Anderson, Pasha, both of 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 unconfirmed between its creation and the earliest confirmed transaction, its purchase in Hyderabad between 1800 and 1820. A further break in the known provenance exists between the death of Sir Henry Russell in 1852 and the appearance of the painting at Walker’s Galleries, London in 1952. The National Gallery of Australia welcomes further information regarding its history of ownership in either of these periods.