The grounds of the palace of Farhat Baksh in Lucknow lit by innumerable coloured lamps
Artist: Sita Ram (fl. c.1810-1822)
Watercolour of Farhat Baksh in Lucknow from 'Views by Seeta Ram from Cawnpore to Mohumdy Vol. IV' produced for Lord Moira, afterwards the Marquess of Hastings, by Sita Ram between 1814-15. Marquess of Hastings, the Governor-General of Bengal and the Commander-in-Chief (r. 1813-23), was accompanied by artist Sita Ram (flourished c.1810-22) to illustrate his journey from Calcutta to Delhi between 1814-15.
Farhat Baksh, originally known as Martin's villa, was constructed by the frenchman Claude Martin (1735-1800) in 1781. Martin's original style combined European classical and English neo-Palladian styles with the Nawabi style. By situating the villa on the banks of the river Gumti, and constructing a moat around the remainder of the building, Martin's building was strategic for defence and way to keep the building cool. The villa's two subterranean levels could be filled with water from the moat to cool the upper levels. After Martin's death, Nawab Saadat Ali Khan of Awadh (r.1798-1814) purchased the villa, renaming it Farhat Baksh and constructed several additions to transform it into a palace. This view shows the grounds of the palace of Farhat Bakhsh in Lucknow lit by innumerable coloured lamps, with transparencies of female figures attached to the pavilions and railings and illuminated behind, and with fireworks. On the terrace of the palace of Farhat Bakhsh, the Nawab and his guests stand admiring the illuminations, while crowds of onlookers stand in front. Inscribed below: 'View of the Illuminations at the palace of Furruh Bukhsh.'