Constantia from Dhil Coushah Park. Luknow. Novr. 1814
Artist: Smith, Robert (1787-1873)
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil drawing of Constantia at Lucknow by Robert Smith (1787-1873) dated 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.
Constantia is a huge building comprising a symmetrical block with curved semicircular wings, adorned with corner pavilions and statuary all situated on an immense podium. It was constructed by the successful businessman and benefactor Major-General Claude Martin (1735-1800) as a palace-tomb and country retreat. The huge fluted column by the lake in front of the house was designed by J.P. Parker. Claude died before the building was finished and is interred underneath it. Constantia subsequently became La Martiniere College as Claude left a left ‘an enormous fortune’ to create a college here and to establish schools for orphans in Calcutta.