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Gate leading to a mosque (in fact, tomb), Chunargarh (U.P.). Squared drawing for the aquatint published January 1797

Gate leading to a mosque (in fact, tomb), Chunargarh (U.P.). Squared drawing for the aquatint published January 1797

Artist: Daniell, Thomas (1749-1840)

Medium: Pencil on paper

Date: 1795

Shelfmark: WD1715

Item number: 1715

Length: 41.2

Width: 60.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Pencil drawing of the gate leading to a mosque (i.e. tomb) at Chunargarh, by Thomas and William Daniell, dated 30 December 1789. Originally inscribed on mount in ink and pencil: 'Gate leading to a Musjid at Chunar Ghar.' This is the original drawing for 'Oriental Scenery,' part 1, plate 24. The view shows the elaborately carved principal gateway to the tomb complex of Shah Qasim Sulaimani, built by the saint's son about 1618.

The ancient fortress of Chunargarh, on a bold rock on the Ganges just before it reaches Varanasi, was strongly fortified by Akbar and represented the gateway to his Eastern Indian provinces. In 1606 Shah Qasim Sulamaini, a famous pious figure, died here and his followers built him a funerary complex. The entrance is a magnificent structure with a pointed arch in the middle, completely decorated with relief patterns of different designs. The young William commented in his diary, '...the effect of this gate, at a distance, is grand, from the bold projection of its superior parts; and its ornaments, though numerous, are applied with so much art and discretion, as to form the happiest union of beauty and grandeur.'

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