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View of Surat from across the River Tapti

View of Surat from across the River Tapti

Artist: Heen, A. van der (fl. 1782)

Medium: Wash

Date: 1782

Shelfmark: WD1057

Item number: 1057

Length: 41.5

Width: 59.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Wash drawing by A. van der Heen (fl. 1782) of a view of Surat from across the River Tapti in Gujarat, dated 1782. The image is inscribed on the back in ink: 'Surat taken from the opposite side of the River Tapee. A. van der Heen delt ad Vivum 1782.' Situated on a bend in the river Tapti, Surat was an important Mughal trading port from the late sixteenth to the late eighteenth centuries. In 1615 Sir Thomas Roe successfully negotiated a treaty in order to set up English Factories at Surat and other suitable sites. Dutch, Portuguese and French merchants were also permitted to trade in Surat during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries but by the late eighteenth century the British had complete control of the port. In 1837, due to fire and floods, the town's trading base declined significantly and many Parsi and Jain merchants moved their businesses to Bombay which later surpassed Surat as the west coast's premier port. More recently Surat has become one of India's fastest rising industrial centres with the diamond-cutting, chemical and textile industries at the forefront.

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