26/10/1872 - 1937




Artist Profile


Born in Pitha, Gujarat. 1888 At the age of sixteen he shifted to Bombay. 1905 Invited to paint ladies of different Indian castes, for the album which was presented to Her Majesty Queen Mary on her visit to India. 1907 Received the Society`s Gold Medal, Bombay Art Society, Bombay. 1911 Visited Italy, Paris and London. 1911 Sir M.N. Bhownaggree held a grand reception in his honour, being the first Indian artist ever to hold a solo exhb. in England. 1911 Art Critic, Sir George Birdwood wrote an article in his appreciation, that was published in London. Committee member for 30 years, Bombay Art Society, Bombay. Vice-President, Art Society India, Bombay.


  • 1888-96 Studied under the guidance of Principal John Griffiths and Chiranjilal, J.J. School of Art, Bombay. Studied at British Academy, Rome.


1894 Bombay Fine Art Exhb., Bombay. 1902 Exhb., Simla Fine Art Society, Simla. 1907, 09, 39 Annual Exhb. Bombay Art Society, Bombay. 1911 Solo exhb., Dore Gallery, London. Exhb. New Burlington Gallery, London. Exhb., Royal Society of Portrait Painting, London. 1912 Exhb. inaugurated by Her Excellency Lady Clarke, Hall of Elphinstone High School, Bombay. 2004 Manifestations II, organised by Delhi Art Gallery, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai and Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi.


National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi. Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Gallery Chemould, Mumbai. Jane and Kito de Boer, Dubai.


1894 Awarded Silver Medal and Cash Prize of Rs. 70, Bombay Fine Art Exhb., Bombay. 1907 Gold Medal, Annual Exhb., Bombay Art Society, Bombay. 1908 Gold Medal from cricketer J.M. Framji Patel, Annual Exhb., Bombay Art Society, Bombay. 1909 Gold Medal, Annual Exhb., Bombay Art Society, Bombay. 1894-1911 Awarded 24 Gold and Silver Medals and 45 Cash Prizes.


Pithawalla portrayed the lives and likenesses of his patrons, the aristocracy and haute bourgeoisie, to advantage. At a deeper level, his portraiture enshrined the values of this elite, comprising merchant-princes, lawyers, landowners and their ladies. Through his rendering of detail- the sitters expressions and gestures, the fall of light on their rich but discreet clothes, the gleam of wood panelling, the exquisite highlights on chinaware- Pithawalla memorialised the values of Indias Victorian colonial establishment: worldly success and ethical striving, self-assurance and permanence.