• Art of the Islamic and Indian  auction at Christies

    Sale 7843

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    13 April 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 285

    William Daniell, R.A. (Chertsey 1769-1838 London)

    A palace in Juanpore, India, with a nautch girl performing in front of a nobleman

    Price Realised  


    William Daniell, R.A. (Chertsey 1769-1838 London)
    A palace in Juanpore, India, with a nautch girl performing in front of a nobleman
    oil on canvas
    42½ x 60¼ in. (107.9 x 153 cm.)

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    Juanpore, or Jaunpur as it is presently known, straddles the Gomati River, northwest of Varanasi, in present day Uttar Pradesh State. The city was probably founded as early as the 11th Century, but the original city was destroyed by floods. It was rebuilt in 1359 and was the capital of the independent Muslim kingdom of the Sharqi dynasty between 1394 and 1479. In 1559, it was captured by the Mughal emperor Akbar and, in 1775, the city fell under British rule.
    William Daniell and his uncle Thomas embarked on an ambitious tour of north India in August 1789, travelling to Bhagalpur, Kanpur and Delhi, before venturing up into the Himalayas. They are likely to have visited Jaunpur on their their return journey to Calcutta, when they are known to have visited Varanasi. Oriental Scenery, six volumes of coloured aquatints published on the Daniells' return to England in 1794, includes a coloured aquatint of A Mosque at Juanpore. Nautch is a style of dance that was particularly popular during the later period of the Mughal Empire and the Company Rule.
    After appearing for sale at Christie's in 1853, this picture was in the collection of Sir William Henry Gregory, a member of the Privy Council of Ireland and a former Governor of Ceylon, and his wife Lady Gregory, dramatist and writer. Lady Gregory entertained many leading figures of the Irish Literary Revival at Coole Park, County Galway, including William Butler Yeats, Edward Martyn and George Bernard Shaw. In 1932, following the death of Lady Gregory, the house was sold and demolished, and its contents dispersed in a local auction.

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    Mrs Daniell, 39 Tavistock Street, London; Christie's, London, 30 June 1853, lot 85, as 'A private nautch, before a man of rank, in India' (£5.10s. to Ratclyffe).
    Sir W.H. Gregory (1817-1892), Coole Park, Co. Galway until 1932, when acquired by the present owners.


    London, Royal Academy, 1938, no. 291, as 'A Nautch girl exhibiting before a man of rank - a scene at Juanpore'.