Town & Fort of Hansi
Draughtsman: Smith, Robert (1787-1873)
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil drawing of Hansi by Robert Smith (1787-1873) from an album of 29 drawings (29 folios) of landscapes and architecture in the Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, 1812 and 1813. Inscribed on the original cover is: 'No. 4. Rewarry & Seik Country: Siharunpoor & Hurdwar. Lines of March etc.'; on the inside of the cover is: 'Drawn by Col Smith. R.E. Owner of the extensive round house at Paignton, Devon. Book of Sketches sold by auction at the above house - 4 of the books purchased by me. J. Pethwick. The Colonel was splendid as a draftsman, but the worst possible as a painter.' The drawings are inscribed with titles in pencil.
Hansi is situated in west-central Haryana state and is one of the most ancient towns in northern India. The town was devastated by famine in 1783 but became the headquarters of the Irish sailor and adventurer George Thomas between 1798 and 1802, when its fortunes revived somewhat. The prosperity of the town continued into the 19th century when a British cantonment was located here (1803 to 1857) but fell into decay after the Indian Uprising (1857). Despite this the town is still surrounded by a high brick wall and overlooked by the ruined fortress.