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The city of Murshidabad (Bengal) with the banqueting hall of the Nawab's old palace seen from the river.

The city of Murshidabad (Bengal) with the banqueting hall of the Nawab's old palace seen from the river.

Artist: Smith, Robert (1787-1873)

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1814

Shelfmark: WD2094

Item number: 2094

Length: 17.7

Width: 29.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Painting

Watercolour painting of Murshidabad in West Bengal by Robert Smith (1787-1873), c. 1814-1815. Inscribed on the mount in pencil is: 'Nawab's House at the City of Moorsedavad'.

Murshidabad is situated on the banks of the Bhagirathi River, north of Calcutta in West Bengal. In 1704, the Nawab of Bengal transferred his capital here from Dacca; in 1757 a series of military disputes between the Nawab and the English East India Company resulted in the rise of English supremacy in Bengal. Although the town of Murshidabad continued to house the residence of the Nawab, it was no longer a place of political power. This drawing depicts the Nawab's old palace in Murshidabad, erected by Major Fleming. The small classically inspired building is the Nawab's breakfast room. The new palace, called the Nizamat Kila, the Hazarduari or the Palace of a Thousand Doors, was also built in the classical style, but on a grander scale. It was built by Colonel Duncan Macleod (1780-1856), Bengal Engineers, between 1829 and 1837.

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