Palace by a tank, Dig, Bharatpur (Rajputana). 26 January 1870
Artist: Chevalier, Nicholas (1828-1902)
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil drawing of a palace by a tank at Dig, Bharatpur (Rajputana) by Nicholas Chevalier (1828-1902), dated 26th January 1870. Inscribed on the front in pencil is: 'Deeg. 26.1.70.' Nicholas Chevalier was a painter, lithographer, cartoonist and illustrator, said to have been born in St. Petersburg (Leningrad) Russia on 9 May 1828. He studied art, architecture and lithography in Lausanne, Munich, London and Rome before leaving for Australia, arriving in Melbourne on the 25th December 1854. In 1868 he was invited to join Prince Alfred Duke of Edinburgh and his entourage on their travels in New Zealand. Chevalier accompanied the royal party on the journey back to England via Tahiti, Hawaii, Japan, China, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and India. On route Chevalier loyally recorded important events in which the royal party were involved.
Although Deeg has an ancient history, it came to prominence when the Jat ruler, Badan Singh (1722-56) developed it as the capital of his newly founded kingdom. Most of the palaces here were built by his son, Suraj Mal of Bharatpur, the largest of which, the Ghopal Bhawan, was the king's summer residence. The palaces at Deeg are typical of Jat architecture with many arches, pillars domes and the abundant utilisation of water features and leafy gardens.