The Banqueting Hall of the Residency, Lucknow (U.P.). 23 February 1870
Artist: Chevalier, Nicholas (1828-1902)
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil, pastel and water-colour drawing of the Banqueting Hall of the Residency at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh by Nicholas Chevalier (1828-1902), dated 23 February 1870. Inscribed on the front in pencil is: 'Banqueting hall. Evening. Used as a general Hospital during the siege of the Residency. Lucknow. N. Chevalier. 23.2.70.'
The Residency building at Lucknow was conceived in 1780 by Nawab Asaf-ud-daulah according to a European design for the British Resident at his court; the building was completed 20 years later by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan. It was situated on what was then the highest elevation in Lucknow in the northern part of the city. The Banqueting Hall within the Residency compound originally also served as a council chamber. During the 1857 Uprising, the Chief Commissioner Sir Henry Lawrence withdrew with a small British garrison and the European occupants of the city to the Residency and thus began the famous siege of Lucknow. The beleaguered group held out alone for three months, and despite the arrival of a relief faction were besieged for a further two months. In the course of the seige six soldiers were buried alive when the shell-battered walls fell in upon them. Two pieces of wood flank the door of the first-floor room in which Lawrence himself was mortally wounded by a shell fragment. During the siege the Banqueting Hall was used as a hospital.