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f.9 Old St. Paul's church, Old Goa. with priest in the foreground.

f.9 Old St. Paul's church, Old Goa. with priest in the foreground.

Artist: Johnson, John (c.1769-1846)

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1798

Shelfmark: WD1055

Item number: 9

Length: 26.1

Width: 40.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Painting

Water-colour painting of Old St. Paul's church at Old Goa by John Johnson (c.1769-1846) between c.1795 and 1801. This image is from a sketch-book of 36 drawings (36 folios) depicting scenes chiefly in West India and Mysore, c.1795 to 1801.

Before the arrival of the Portuguese in the early 16th century Old Goa (Goa Velha) was a thriving city ruled by the Adil Shahi Sultans of Bijapur. Under Portuguese occupation the town developed into the first Christian colony in the Indies, with a population of 200,000. The church of St. Paul had a college (founded in 1541) attached to it to educate native students in the arts and sciences and to train them as preachers in their own languages. It possessed a vast library and in 1556 boasted the only printing press in the East. Later it was abandoned in favour of a less pestilential location. The church collapsed in 1820 and only a small portion of the Doric fa├žade remains.

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