THE WEIRD AND WONDERFUL WORLD OF MAJ-GEN FREDERICK STAFFORD HEWETT (1826-80)

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The Snake under the Crinoline
The Majesty of English Law! An execution at Thannah
Mortal Combat between Brahman Gods
Oriental Potentates - A Shower of Frogs
The Badge & Motto of The Star of India
Cat in a Veil - Ridiculous Mourning
The Screaming Baboon - a Concatenation of Heads
'Bool Dogues' - Studies of Bulldogs
   

 

Anyone who has ever doodled, listened to Gilbert & Sullivan, enjoyed Tenniel's illustrations for Alice in Wonderland or wondered what the British Raj might have looked like under the influence of a spiked hookah pipe will find some affinity with the weird and wonderful work of Frederick Stafford Hewett. Hewett was a career soldier in the Indian Army, rising to the rank of Major General, while nurturing, largely in secret, the most astonishing and peculiar artistic talent.

The drawings and watercolours on display here were largely produced between 1868-72, when Hewett was in command of a regiment of Native Infantry in the Bombay Presidency. Like Gilbert & Sullivan's 'Modern Major General', however, Hewett seems far more in interested in other things: ladies' feet, monkeys, crinolines, baobab trees and skeletons, to name but a few of his varied pre-occupations.

 

The Extreme Military Moustache
Pen & Ink

The Good Woman
Pen and ink

The Rajah of Akulkate & Entourage at Railway Station
watercolour

Monkey in a Corset
Pen and ink
Tiny Knights in Armour

Spoliation – An Allegory
Pen and ink

Skeleton in a Crinoline – What A Fright!
Pen and ink

Inspired by Gustave Dore's 'Wandering Jew'

A Skeleton Army and A Little Bat
Pen and ink

 

The Temptation of Mermaids
Walking the Crocodile
Pen and ink

Procession of the Great Mogul in the Ramazan
Graphite

The Infant Bacchus

The Caterwauling Diva with a Chorus of Heads
Pen and ink

Habeus Corpus – A Legal Fantasy
Pen and ink

Leapfrog – Out of My Head
Pen and ink

Don Quixote & Toy Soldiers
Pen and ink

Hands Clasped – Furies and Fairies
Pen and ink

Jack-in-the-Box
Pen and ink

'Heavens Light Our Guide' – the motto of the Star of India
Graphite

The Lady of the Lake
Pen and ink

An Elizabethan Nightmare
Pen and ink

What on Earth's for Christmas Dinner?
Pen and ink

Songs of the Deep
Watercolour

The Mushroom Skeletons
Pen and ink

The Lesbian Engagement Ring
Pen and ink

The Fish-tongue Beards
Pen and ink

You visit the lake at your Peril – there be Monsters!
Pen and coloured ink

Dancing on a Pelican's beak
Pen and coloured ink, inscribed and dated

The Hairstyle of a Snail and a Fantasia of Feet
Pen and ink

Monkeyana
Pen and ink

The Majesty of English Law! (An Execution at Thannah)
Graphite

A Weird Turtle and the Prettiest Little Shoes
watercolour

Elizabethan Playing Cards
Pen and ink

Death Lurks behind the Fashionable Veil
Pen and ink

Ridiculous Mourning
Pen and ink
Reprieved (from the hangman's noose)

Finis

Topographical

Near Marseilles 5 Feb, 1868
watercolour
The Fort at Bombay
watercolour

Oriental Hotel, Galle, Ceylon Mar 3, 1869
watercolour

Royal Hotel, Bombay, Mar 1868
watercolour

Colaba Lighthouse, Bombay Nov 15, 1869
Pen and ink

Ruined Pagoda at Harichunderghere
Graphite

Inscribed, The Prongs, Bombay Nov 15, 1869
Pen and ink

Graphite, inscribed & dated Hyderabad Fort, 1852

Adam's Peak, Ceylon 31 Mar 1869 (Turtle “Soup Tomorrow”)

The Lighthouse, Bombay Feb 25, 1870
Graphite, inscribed and dated

Ten-Gun Armstrong Battery, Colaba Mar 6, 1870
Graphite, inscribed and dated

Thannah Fort – Now the Jail Dec 16, 1869
Graphite, inscribed and dated

 

The Lighthouse, Gibraltar (Doodles) 21 May, 1873

Port of Alexandria (windmills) 11 July 1868

Tomb of the Egyptian (watercolour)

An Egyptian Village sketched from the Railway
watercolour

St Helena – Homeward Bound Feb '55
Maj-Gen Frederick Stafford Hewett (1826-80)
Shapoor Hill Fort
Egutsourie
Rutmagherry Port, Malabar Coast Apr 19, 1870
Port of Unjunwell Apr 19, 1870
Gibraltar from the Steamer Yeddo 21 May 1873

 

Nature

 

An Ideal Scene on the Banks of the Nile
Pen and ink

The Colonel's Horse
Pen and ink

Skull of a Hyena

The Severed Limb of a Banyan tree continuing to grow, Saltarah Feb 1868
Outline of a Catfish caught in the Indus River 1852
Flower and Leaf of a 'Gold Mohr'
Peepul Tree, Thannah, Boxing Day 1869

Donkey wearing King Theodore's Saddle

Funny Little Fish (watercolour) 14 Mar 1870

Leopard Woken by Tiger Hunt
Pen and ink

Marine Monster caught in the surf, Madras
watercolour, dated Apr 1869

Banian Tree in the Nipani Jungle
Pen and ink

An Aviary with a Circus Dog

Tiger Shooting

Jungle Ropes, Deesa 1877
Antlers of the Bara Singha Deer
Vultures & Lady Camel Riders
Porpoise & Friends
Dead Tiger
African Baobab Tree 13 Dec 1869

Small Aloe
watercolour
An Old Cactus Stump
(watercolour)

Turtle Skull & Pretty Shoes
watercolour
Grove of Baobab trees 4 Feb 1871

 

 

Figural Drawings

Woman in the Red Sea, 3 Mar 1875
Mrs Mary Jane, Wilhemina, Caroline etc etc
watercolour
Cingalese Waiter's Boy, Point da Galle, Ceylon 2 Apr 1869
Pen and ink
Prince Dhejlbon Flluptz of Nygoming, Africa, 1 May 1869

Pretty Young Ladies in Bizarre Costume
watercolour

The Kiss Goodbye
watercolour

Croquet and Crinolines
Pen and ink

Native Indian Heads & Frogs
Pen and ink

Fantasy Costume
watercolour

Mortal Combat between Brahman Gods
watercolour

 

 

Architecture

The Family Home, England
watercolour

Barracks Interior – Huts intended for the Abysinnian Expedition

Cursetjee Furdonjee's House
Graphite, further inscribed & dated 'on the Sands, Backbay, Bombay 1 Apr, 1870'

Interior of the Royal English Family Garden Hotel, Madras 13 Apr 1869
watercolour

House, Elphinstone Circle, Bombay Jul 1869
Pen and ink

 

 

Exotica & Erotica

Umbrellas and Crinolines inside-out
Hindu Shrine

Foot Fetish

Three Disgraces
Pen and ink
Mrs B's footweat
Theatrical Ladies
African and European
Dwarf Woman at Kelapore, May 1872
Maj-Gen Frederick Stafford Hewett (1826-80)

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