Indoislamica

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Watercolours

View of Guptah Ghat, Faizabad from the River Gogra, after Thomas and William Daniell.

Orme, William (active 1790-1820).

Watercolour on paper. 500 x 670mm. (19.7 x 26.5 ins).

Orme often worked up the drawings of other artists for publication. This view of a riverside landing-place may have been originally intended for A brief history of Ancient and Modern India from the earliest period of antiquity to the termination of the Mahratta War, 1805, which included 24 views of Hindostan drawn by Mr [Thomas ] Daniell and Col. F.S. Ward, now in the possession of Richard Chase Esq (late Mayor of Madras).

It was at Faizabad on 26 January, 1775, that Warren Hastings, on behalf of the East India Company, had concluded the Treaty binding the Nawab of Oudh to pay a heavier subsidy. This was for the maintenance of British troops to secure the Nawab's dominions against external aggression. Faizabad, now in modern Uttar Pradesh, lies east of Lucknow on the river Ghaghra. Prior to 1775, the Nawabs of Oudh made it their capital, subsequently removing to Lucknow.

This enchanting scene of Gupta Ghat, drawn some 25 years after Faizabad had ceased to be the capital of Oudh, reveals a city moving into gentle decline. In the nineteenth century, Faizabad fell into decay.

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