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Plan of the principal storey of the New Government House, Calcutta

Plan of the principal storey of the New Government House, Calcutta

Artist: Best, James (fl. 1804)

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1804

Shelfmark: WD1004

Item number: 1004

Genre: Plan

Pen-and-ink and wash plan by James Best (fl. 1804) of the principal storey of New Government House in Calcutta, West Bengal, dated c. 1804. The image is inscribed on the front in ink: 'Plan of the Principal Story of the New Goverment House', and with the number '31.' This image shows the principal storey of the building which contains the lower state hall, the principal dining room, which is situated directly below the Levee and Ball Room on the floor above. Marquess Wellesley became Governor-General of Calcutta in 1798 and decided that the existing Government House was not a suitable building for his position and needs. Captain Charles Wyatt of the Engineers, the architect of the new Government House, based his designs for the building on Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, although the latter has two floors instead of three. There were many modifications to the basic design of the building, due to the hot climate in Calcutta; including the four wings which were constructed specifically to allow for the free movement of air. Four large ceremonial gateways marked each end of the carriageways on the north and south facades, which were partly based on Adam's archways at Syon House in Middlesex. The lower storey of Government House has an arcade with Ionic columns; on the north side of this is a portico with a large staircase, under which carriages drove to the entrance; on the south side there is a circular colonnade with a dome.

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