Romy or Constantinople Gate. Luknow. Nov. 1814
Artist: Smith, Robert (1787-1873)
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil drawing of the Rumi Gate at Lucknow by Robert Smith (1787-1873) in November 1814. This is one of 27 drawings (29 folios) of views made during a march from Benares (Varanasi) to Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, probably en route for Almora in 1814. Inscribed on the original cover is: 'No. XIII. Ganges & Luknow'. Captain Robert Smith was a military engineer with the East India Company and was in India from 1805 to 1833. He designed a number of buildings in India and also repaired various Indian monuments including the Kutb Minar and the Jami Masjid at Delhi.
Lucknow is the state capital of Uttar Pradesh in northern India. It came to prominence under the Mughals and during their rule became a flourishing centre for the arts. Supported by the wealth of the royal court many fine palaces, tombs and mosques were erected mostly dating from the mid-18th century onwards. At 60 feet high the Rumi Darwaza was built by Nawab Asafuddaula in 1784 and served as the entrance to the city. It was also known as the Turkish Gateway as it is said to be identical to the Rumi gateway at Istanbul. 'Rumi' is derived from the name Rome, the term Muslims applied to Istanbul when it was still Byzantium, the capital of the eastern Roman Empire.