A RUINED INDIAN SHRINE ADJACENT TO A BANYAN TREE, WITH NEARBY FIGURES, POSSIBLY IN BENGAL OR BIHAR
Oil on canvas
28 x 43.7cm
We are very grateful to Dr Tom Young and Jeremiah Losty for their assistance in cataloguing this painting.
This work, by a presently unidentified and likely amateur British hand, bears the hallmarks of a number of artists active in India in the 1820’s. The naivety of the figures and the overall handling is comparable to Sir Charles D’Oyly, one of the best-known amateur British artists in India, who was a senior official in the employ of the East India Company. The composition is indebted to George Chinnery, a close friend and artistic companion of D’Oyly’s who was active in India for several years, prior to his departure for Macau. The vegetation to the lower right is similar to that employed on occasion by William Hodges, another talented British artist who depicted the rural scenery of India for prominent Anglo-Indian clients and for reproduction back home in Britain.
(i) Waqar A. Khan, Sir Charles D'Oyly, 7th Baronet in The Daily Star (India), Jan. 8 2018
(ii) 'The Talented Baronet' Sir Charles D'Oyly and his Drawings of India, in Connoisseur, No. 175 (November, 1970), pp.173-81.
(iii) Tom Young, Art in India's 'Age of Reform' Amateurs, Print Culture, and the Transformation of the East India Company, c.1813-1858 (PhD thesis), Cambridge University (2019)
(iv) Jeremiah P. Losty, A Career in Art: Sir Charles D'Oyly, in Under the India Sun: British Landscape Artists, ed. Rohatgi & Rodrej, Bombay (1995), pp.81-107
(v) Sir Charles Allen Lawson, The private life of Warren Hastings, first govenor-general of India, London (1895), pp.232-234
(vi) Maurice Shellim, The Oil Paintings of Sir Charles D'Oyly, Spink (London, 1989)
(vii) Nilanjana Mukherjee, Drawing Roads, Building Empire: Space and Circulation in Charles D’Oyly's Indian Landscapes, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 37:2