The Bombay City Man
Digital Archival Print; Open edition
10 x 11.5”; 25 x 29 cms
Original print (Red Earth collection) : Halftone; 7.5 x 10”; estimated to be early 20th century; Publisher / Artist: Unknown; Publication: Unknown
(The work will be shipped without a frame, packed flat, or rolled in a tube).
A relaxed approach to the monsoon, as we see a variety of the middle and upper-middle class gentry of Bombay exiting the Charni Road station (the sign board can be seen in the top-right background) on a monsoon day in the early 20th century (dated by the previous owner of this work).
With black overcoats, the three Indian gentlemen in a variety of sizes in the foreground seem to also be in a variety of moods, just about coming out of the railway station. The suited gentleman in the background, possibly a “burra sahib” or an Anglo-Indian, leans out from under the roof shade, smoking seemingly without a care as he waits for a pick-up / Victoria “garri”, indicated by the absence of an umbrella.
Overall, this then-contemporaneous Punch magazine-like satire on daily Bombay life captured here on a rainy day at Charni Road is a rare albeit refreshing approach from the typical hailing of the virtues of the British colonial administration, sparing neither the ruler nor the ruled.
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