Tent and Servant, "Mahomed Buksh"


In the fall of 1878, The Illustrated London News dispatched the Scottish artist William Simpson (1823–99) to Afghanistan in anticipation of a conflict between Britain and Afghan tribal leaders. The British were concerned about growing Russian influence in the region and a possible Russian threat to British India. Fighting broke out in November 1878, precipitating what became known as the Second Afghan War (1878–80). Simpson documented the conflict, but he was also interested in people he encountered and places he visited, especially ancient Buddhist ruins, several of which he excavated. Shown here is Simpson’s watercolor of the camp of the Fourth Gurkha Regiment at Jalalabad in March 1879. In the foreground next to the tent stands Gurkha servant Mahomed Buksh. The painting is from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection at the Brown University Library.

Last updated: September 30, 2016