The memsahib’s brush: Anglo-Indian women and the art of the picturesque, 1830-1880

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

2 Scopus citations


This chapter focuses on Anglo-Indian women as artists and travellers in the colonial Indian landscape. Memsahibs’ letters or diaries often mention the names of other Anglo-Indian women they had met in India. A stream of travel manuals published at the time encouraged would-be memsahibs to keep themselves busy with paper and paint. Memsahibs too used the opportunity to paint picturesque scenery, setting aside domestic boundaries to step outside and draw. For memsahibs, painting scenic spots gave them a chance to escape from crowds of native strangers as well as from the curiosity of other Anglo-Indians to the solitude of the outdoors. Memsahibs stood at the focal point of concerns since they bore the responsibility of ensuring the future of the British race in India. Thus British nostalgia overlapped with the Indian picturesque, forming a vision of Empire that finally returned to Kew through the renderings of a memsahib’s brush.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOrientalism Transposed The Impact of the Colonies on British Culture
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780429761652
ISBN (Print)9781138386693
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'The memsahib’s brush: Anglo-Indian women and the art of the picturesque, 1830-1880'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this