Shekhavati Traders, near Jaipur (Primary Title)
Beginning in the 1970s and for more than two decades, English photographer Derry Moore photographed India. Typical of his work, this picture is both documentary and highly calculated. Both photographer and subjects—two seated Shekhavati traders and three attendants in the open courtyard of a traditional Rajasthani haveli (mansion)—seem to participate in dramatizing a scene that plays with conventions for picturing Indian royalty in both the pre- and post-colonial eras. Pseudo-royal regalia are displayed, the cross-legged trader near the photograph’s center resembles a ruler seated at court, and the carpet’s converging lines draw the viewing into the role of audience member. The photograph’s setting, colors, and patterning evoke Indian paintings—which, in fact, fill the picture. As is traditional within Shekhavati havelis, the walls and entablature of the courtyard are covered with painted murals.
Signed in permanent black ink in lower right margin: "Derry Moore 1/12".
Gift of Mimi Wilson Dozier in honor of Dr. Joseph M. Dye, III
© Derry Moore
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