• The Ismail Merchant Collection auction at Christies

    Sale 5980

    The Ismail Merchant Collection

    7 October 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 141

    English School, circa 1843-49

    Twenty-eight views in and around Gwalior and Lashkar, Central India including the fort of Gwalior, the palace of Lashkar, the temple of Surwaya and the infantry parade ground near Sipree

    Price Realised  

    English School, circa 1843-49
    Twenty-eight views in and around Gwalior and Lashkar, Central India including the fort of Gwalior, the palace of Lashkar, the temple of Surwaya and the infantry parade ground near Sipree
    nine signed with initials 'NAP', twenty-six variously inscribed and twenty-seven dated between 29 December 1843-1 September 1849
    pencil and watercolour, unframed
    twenty-four 10¼ x 14¾ in. (26.1 x 37.5 cm.) and slightly smaller; four 14¾ x 10¼ in. (37.5 x 26.1cm.) and slightly smaller


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    The present group of watercolours was probably executed by an army officer or a wife or sister stationed at the Fort of Gwalior, who recorded elements of daily life in camp, the house where they were billeted, buildings and temples in the surrounding area and local customs such as the rather shocking practise of suttee. Skill in drawing was a great asset to the military as their work frequently involved surveying and map making, and drawing was taught at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. For the women who joined their relatives life could be lonely and many were encouraged to improve their sketching and take instruction in watercolour drawing.

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