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A Wandering Sadhu

Chajju Lal, Indian, b. 18th century

Creation date: ca. 1900
Creation place: India

Other Information

Type: Watercolor Painting
Medium and Support: Opaque watercolor on board
Credit Line: Edwin Binney 3rd Collection
Accession Number: 1990.1371
Dimensions: 9 1/8 in. x 6 7/8 in. (23.2 cm x 17.5 cm)


C.L. Bharany, New Delhi, India ( - April 15, 1976)

Edwin Binney 3rd, San Diego, California (April 15, 1976 - August 27, 1990)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (August 27, 1990 - )

Label Copy

October 2005
Domains of Wonder
Dressed in leopard skin and a loincloth, this Hindu ascetic holds massive prayer beads and a trumpet in one hand, and a calabash in another. These wandering mendicants give up all worldly pleasures to meditate solely on god. The peacock feathers, flower garlands, and the vertical red mark on his brow indicate that he is a follower of the Hindu god Vishnu.
The frontal pose, the scenic backdrop, and the particular shape of the blackened frame give this painting a photographic look. Since the 1870s, artists began to paint in a “photographic style” to compete with photographers dominating the portraiture market. It may have belonged to a British colonist who wished to possess a document of India's peculiar inhabitants.
Last Updated: 9/5/2017


This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Domains of Wonder: Selected Masterworks of Indian Painting San Diego Museum of Art , 10/22/2005 - 1/27/2008


This object has the following bibliographic references:

Brijinder Nath Goswamy and Dr. Caron Smith. Domains of Wonder: San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 2005
Page Number: 296, 297, Figure Number: 126


Inscription, Bottom center: the work of Chhajju lal

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