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General view of the city of Gaya from the Fulga River (Bihar). 29 December 1824

General view of the city of Gaya from the Fulga River (Bihar). 29 December 1824

Artist: D'Oyly, Sir Charles (1781-1845)

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1824

Shelfmark: WD2060

Item number: f76

Length: 26

Width: 36

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Pen and ink drawing by Sir Charles D'Oyly (1781-1845), of a general view of the city of Gaya, from the Fulga River, in Bihar, from an Album of 80 drawings of views in Bengal and Bihar taken between January 1823 and May 1825. Gaya, near the sacred site of Bodh Gaya, where Buddha achieved enlightenment, is a very important pilgrimage site for Hindus and Muslims as well as for Buddhists. This image is from a group of drawings dated between 18th December 1824 and 2nd January 1825, which were clearly made during a Christmas tour to Gaya when D'Oyly visited his friends George Proctor Beauchamp and Christopher Webb Smith. Beauchamp was Collector of the Pilgrim Tax for the Gaya district. D'Oyly and Smith produced two books together; Oriental Ornithology, (Behar Lithographic Press, 1829), and The Feathered Game of Hindostan, (Calcutta, 1830), with illustrations of birds by Smith and landscapes by D'Oyly.

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.'

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