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S.E. face of the fort at Chunar (U.P.) seen from the river.

S.E. face of the fort at Chunar (U.P.) seen from the river.

Artist: Smith, Robert (1787-1873)

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1814

Shelfmark: WD2088

Item number: 2088

Length: 19.2

Width: 30.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Painting

Water-colour view of the fort at Chunar seen from the river by Robert Smith (1787-1873) between 1814 and 1815. Inscribed on the mount in pencil is: 'Fort Chunarghar. S.E. face'.

The fort at Chunar in Uttar Pradesh occupies a commanding position high above a meander in the Ganges River. There is evidence of settlement here from 56 BC when it was occupied by Vikramaditya of Ujjain. The almost impregnable citadel has massive ramparts that look down over the river and was built of local sandstone which is still quarried in the area today. In c.1538 it became the residence of Sher Shah Suri who built a pavilion here which was used as a gatehouse. Emperor Akbar stormed the fortress in 1575 and it was presided over by the Nawabs of Avadh until the British took it after the Battle of Buxar in 1764. Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General of India (1773 to 1784) took refuge at the fortress from an uprising led by Chet Singh in 1781. The fort was a favourite subject with landscape painters as they passed up and down the Ganges.

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