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Three Views of the Head of a Native (probably a Sakalava), Madagascar

Photo credit: The Trustees of the British Museum

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The artist James Ward is particularly noted for his animal and landscape paintings. The subject of this triple portrait is said to be a member of the Sakalava people of Madagascar. Who the subject was and why he was painted by Ward, who is not recorded as having visited Madagascar, is not known. The painting, from the collection of Dr Joseph Barnard Davis (1801–1881), was sold at Sotheby Wilkinson & Hodge in 1883, being described as ‘Oil Painting of triple Portraits of an Indian Nabob’.

British Museum





oil on canvas


H 60 x W 78 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from A. W. Franks, 1883

Work type



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