Historian Zareer Masani considers what can be learnt about British colonial life in India from Zoffany’s ‘conversation piece’.
Travelling artists included established painters like Johan Zoffany, who visited India, or William Hodges and William Westall who documented ‘discovery voyages’ to Oceania. Amateurs like John Linton Palmer and Olivia Tonge took up art as a visual diary. Subjects ranged from community leaders to more intimate domestic groups, or individuals who were also treated as supposedly objective ethnographic case studies, exemplifying the character and customs of another race.
Artist & Empire: Facing Britain’s Imperial Past – Tate Britain 10 April 2016
Find out more: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/artist-and-empire