A Barthesian Demythologization of a Colonial Painting

Peter Gonsalves


In the year marking the birth centenary of the renowned semiotician Ronald Barthes, the article investigates a painting that was commissioned by the members of the British East India Company and installed in the central hall of their office in London. After establishing its historical context, the text employs Barthesian theory to unravel the cultural, symbolical and hermeneutical myths underpinning the ideology that sustained and promoted the colonial enterprise for more than a century.

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