View of the Kathkamsandi Pass, N.W. of Hazaribagh (Bihar). 15 February 1823
Artist: D'Oyly, Sir Charles (1781-1845)
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
Pen and ink drawing by Sir Charles D'Oyly (1781-1845), of a view of the Kathkamsandi Pass, north west of Hazaribagh in Bihar, dated 15th February 1823, from an Album of 80 drawings of views in Bengal and Bihar taken between January 1823 and May 1825. This image is from the largest group of drawings which consists of sketches made between 26 January and 27 February 1823 during a journey from Calcutta to Gaya (Bihar) along the 'New Military Road'. This road passed through Manbhum district (Bihar) to Hazaribagh (Bihar) and through the hills to the N.W. to join the present Grand Trunk Road near Sherghati (Gaya district, Bihar). Begun in 1782, it had semaphore signalling towers built along it in the early years of the 19th century.
D'Oyly wrote, in 'Sketches of the New Road in a Journey from Calcutta to Gyah' (Calcutta, 1830), "one of the finest and most extensive prospects...From the summit is observed a low green beautifully dotted valley, from which to the right gradually rise Hills covered with rich foliage, and the Horizon is bounded by a range of Hills, varying in their tones by recession, till they are lost in haze...when the Valley is reached and the eye is turned back to the Pass, which has been left, the view is scarcely less striking."
D'Oyly arrived in India in 1797 and spent his first few years in Calcutta as Assistant to the Registrar of the Court of Appeal. He was Collector of Dacca from 1808-18 and was made Opium Agent at Patna in 1821. Whilst at Dacca he met the artist George Chinnery and became his pupil from 1808-12. D'Oyly was a prolific amateur artist who was greatly admired by the European community. He set up and ran a lithographic press, the 'Behar Lithography', and also formed an amateur art society the 'United Patna and Gaya Society' or 'Behar School of Athens': 'for the promotion of Arts and Sciences and for the circulation of fun and merriment of all descriptions.'