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    Sale 7586

    West ~ East - The Niall Hobhouse Collection

    22 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 64

    F. J. Delafour, circa 1836

    The river Adyar, Madras, from the terrace of a villa

    Price Realised  


    F. J. Delafour, circa 1836
    The river Adyar, Madras, from the terrace of a villa
    pencil, pen and grey ink and watercolour, heightened with touches of bodycolour
    11¼ x 17¾ in. (28.6 x 45.1 cm.)

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    Delafour was an artist from the circle of Justinian Gantz, eldest son of John Gantz. A signed, inscribed and dated watercolour of the same subject is now in the India Office Library, see fig. 1. The inscription reads 'West View of the Adyar River from the Terrace of the Adyar Villa. Just Gantz, Madras. 1836'.

    Justinian Gantz is described in the East Indian Register as a 'Miniature Painter'. He helped his father with the family's lithographic press and specialised in making drawings of the houses of his European clients.

    In the early, turbulent days of Madras, the Adyar River was the scene of many violent incidents, but by the time of the present picture it had become a tranquil and elegant suburb, as indeed it remains today. At the extreme right of the picture can be seen a part of the famous Marmalong Bridge, built by an Armenian in 1726 but now replaced by a modern bridge. The bungalow seen across the river became the home of the Theosophical Society of Madras.

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    London, Niall Hobhouse, Aa to Zywiec, 1985, no. 42.