This is an outstanding example of the fine painted chintz textiles made in South-East India for export to Europe.

It shows a stylised tree rising from a rocky mound. Two cranes wade in pools with fish, squirrels run among the branches, and different birds are depicted in fine detail. The asymmetric ‘tree of life’ connects to Chinese design, but it is combined with an Indian taste for minute detail. Large cloths like this were used as hangings or bed curtains. The Ashmolean has a superb collection of Indian dyed textiles made for the Middle Eastern and South-East Asian markets but this is the first example made for the European market.


?private collection, France; Hotel Drouot-Rossini sale, Paris, 2003; Cora Ginsburg Gallery, New York, 2003; private collection; Cora Ginsburg Gallery, New York. The work has been vetted by the Art Loss Register.

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