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Gangaram Chintaman Tambat, active 1790s

A Rhinoceros in the Peshwa's Menagerie at Poona

Additional Title(s):

A Rhinoceros in the Pashwa's Menagerie at Poona, Nov. 1790 (commissioned by Sir Charles Warre Malet)

Pen and black ink, brown ink, gray wash, gouache, and graphite on medium, moderately textured, beige laid paper
Sheet: 8 7/8 × 14 5/8 inches (22.5 × 37.1 cm)

Inscribed in pen and brown ink: "This Drawing & Wax Figure of a Rhinoceros belonging to [Madavrao Shrimain Peshwa] were taken from the Life ^ with great <Success> Fidelity | at Poona in November 1790 | by Gungaaram Chintaman Tambat, the age of the Rhinoceros was supposed to be about 25 Years of the following Dimensions etc. | From the Outside of the Tail to the foremost Wrinkle of the Neck ft 8, in 7 1/2 | From the last Wrinkle to the Top of the Nose ft. 2. 3 1/2 | From the fore Foot to the Shoulder Height ft. 5. 11. | From the Hind foot to the Top of the Rump ft. 6. 3. | From the Root of the Horn nearest the Nose to the Point 1-. | It was said by the Keepers that the Horn would grow -. | Poona 28 Novr. 1790 CWM | This Animal is Retromingent but | the Genital Parts when actuated by | the Concupiscence are projected as in the | Accomp'g Drawing - In Which the | Urinal line is also Described - . | The Color of the Animal is Excellently | Conveyd in the Wax Figure"; Devanagari script in brown ink, lower left; and in black ink, upper right


Signed in pen with brown ink, upper left: "by Gungaram Chintaman Tambat"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
animal art
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IIIF Manifest:

Gangaram Chintaman Tambat was employed by Charles Warre Malet in the 1790s to make drawings in and around his native Pune (formerly Poona) and was described by his patron as “very ingenious.” Although we know very little about his life, he is one of the few Indian artists who can be rescued from the anonymity of the “Company School.” This remarkable drawing of a rhinoceros was made at the end of November 1790, and the annotations, which also capture the animal’s sheer size, record that it was made with “great fidelity” from a specimen in Maratha Peshwa’s menagerie at Pune. The notes also suggest Tambat made a wax model of the rhinoceros, which has sadly been lost.

Gallery label for A Decade of Gifts and Acquisitions (Yale Center for British Art, 2017-06-01 - 2017-08-13)

A Decade of Gifts and Acquisitions (Yale Center for British Art, 2017-06-01 - 2017-08-13) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

Adapting the Eye: an archive of the British in India, 1770-1830 (Yale Center for British Art, 2011-10-11 - 2011-12-31) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Holly Shaffer, Adapting the eye, An archive of the British in India, 1770-1830 , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2011, p. 20, 36, no. 141, V2359 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Holly Shaffer, Grafted arts : art making and taking in the struggle for western India : 1760-1910, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, New Haven, CT, p. 71, fig. 36, N72.P6 S53 2022+ (YCBA) [YCBA]

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