Mica Paintings

Archive Unit

Scope and Content

Mica paintings originating from India [Mirzapore]. There appear to be at least three separate sets of paintings measuring 8cm x 11.5cm, 9cm x 12.5cm and 10cm x 14cm. Two sets depict domestic servants or trades-people and the third depicts Hindu gods and goddesses.

Administrative / Biographical History

Mica is a transparent mineral - the variety of Mica used most frequently by Indian artists is Muscovite, found widely throughout south India. Paintings are generally made on one side of the Mica, sometimes both sides are painted. The majority of the paintings were produced in standard sets for the colonial tourist market, and imitated paintings on glass. Popular subjects for the paintings included Hindu gods and goddesses, religious events, trades-people and flora and fauna of the sub-continent. [Source: 'Conservation of Indian Mica Paintings', by Mike Wheeler, V&A Conservation Journal, Issue 35]

Conditions Governing Access


Archivist's Note