Scene near Mathura (U.P.), with a well. 2 February 1789
Artist: Daniell, Thomas (1749-1840)
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil and wash drawing of a scene near Mathura by Thomas (1749-1840) and William (1769-1837) Daniell, 2 February 1789. Inscribed on the back in pencil is: 'Near Matura'; in ink: '133.'
Mathura is situated on the west bank of the Yamuna River in Uttar Pradesh and dates back to 600 BC. It is regarded as one of the most sacred cities in India as it is the birthplace of Lord Krishna and an important place of pilgrimage, attracting thousands of devotees throughout the year. The area surrounding the city is imbued with sanctity as it was the childhood home of Krishna. The strategic location of the city has ensured that it has been a centre of trade and a meeting point of cultures for hundreds of years. Ptolemy mentioned the town and it became a capital city of the Kushan Empire during the first to second centuries. The town was an important Buddhist centre in the 7th century, however it was later sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni (1017), Sikander Lodi (1500), and the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Jats and Marathas fought over the city as the Mughal Empire declined but at the beginning of the 19th century it came under British control.