Madam Puthen Lakshmy was the matriarch of the donor’s family. She was a native of Kerala, South India and arrived in Singapore to live with her son’s family in the early 20th century. This portrait was commissioned by her son during her residence in Singapore. She is seen here dressed in minimalist attire including a white sari sans blouse and a simple pair of earrings and chain; these signal her position as a widowed matriarch. Having one’s portrait taken was common in early-mid 20th century Singapore, among the upper middle class and middle class members of society. This portrait of Madam Puthen Lakshmy was taken during this period.