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A group portrait of three sons of William Money (1738–1796), a Director of the East India Company, commissioned by Sir Robert Wigram, Money's lifelong friend and business partner.
His right arm rests on the shoulder of his brother Robert, who stands to the left and is shown wearing a red coat. He is in profile looking at his eldest brother and pointing with his right hand to a map of China at the place marked Canton. James, the right-hand figure, holds the other end of the map with his right forefinger placed on Calcutta. Like his elder brother, his hair is powdered. Through a window behind him the Indiaman 'Rose' is shown at anchor.
James and Robert both worked in the civil branch of the Company's service. James points to the Bay of Bengal, which may signify that he accompanied his elder brother on the 1788–1790 voyage, at the start of his service with the Company.
The Honourable Company of London Merchants Trading with the East Indies was formed in 1600 and it soon became known by the shorter title of the Honourable East India Company. The company grew rich and powerful on the trade in cottons, silks, spices and tea, and kept its monopoly for over 200 years. Britain's large land-based Indian Empire had its beginnings in this early maritime trading venture.
The Money Brothers: William Taylor (1769–1834), James (1772–1833), and Robert (1775–1803)
oil on canvas
H 101.6 x W 127 cm