Artist: Smith, Robert (1787-1873)
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil drawing of a hill scene by Robert Smith (1787-1873) in 1815. This is one of 21 drawings (27 folios) of operations and scenery in Sirmur, Almora & Kumaon (Uttar Pradesh) during the Nepal War, 1815. Inscribed on the original album cover is: 'No. 7. Almorah & Kumaon.' 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.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries the Gurkhas of Nepal actively sought to expand their territory into North India leading to a war with the British, 1814-16. This was a difficult conflict as the Bengal Army was unprepared for this type of mountain warfare. Despite this the British gained victory and the resulting Treaty of Kathmandu (1816) forced the Gurkhas to retreat into the area roughly equivalent to the present borders of Nepal. The treaty also gave the British the tract of hill country where Simla (Shimla), the site of the future government was situated. Smith was Field Engineer with a force engaged in the Nepal War.