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The Adyar River; in the distance St. Thomas's Mount and garden houses beside the river; in the foreground a terrace and country boat

The Adyar River; in the distance St. Thomas's Mount and garden houses beside the river; in the foreground a terrace and country boat

Artist: Gantz, Justinian (1802-1862)

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1836

Shelfmark: WD2777

Item number: 2777

Length: 27.3

Width: 40.1

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Water-colour drawing of the Adyar River with St. Thomas's Mount in the distance by Justinian Gantz (1802-1862) in 1836. Inscribed on the original mount in ink is: 'West View of the Adyar River from the Terrace of the Adyar Villa. Just Gantz, Madras 1836.' Justinian Gantz, eldest son of John Gantz, is described in the 'East India Register' as 'Miniature Painter'. He married Ann Philipina Martin at Black Town, Madras, in 1827 and Petronella Duynevell in 1833. He helped his father with the family's lithographic press and appears to have specialized in making drawings of European houses. It seems probable that after the First Burma War of 1824 to 1826 he went to Burma as a Company draftsman. In the entry of his burial he is described as a partner in the firm of Gantz Brothers.

St Thomas's Mount, situated on the outskirts of Madras, is traditionally associated with the martyrdom of the Apostle St Thomas, who is believed to have gone to India after the Crucifiction. It is thought that he founded Christian communities on the west coast of India and came to Mylapore, where he was killed in 68 AD. In the mid 16th century Portuguese settlers built Our Lady of Expectation Church on the mount which is approached by 14 Stations of the Cross. At the base of the mount was a military cantonment and several colonial-style bungalows from the British period in India.

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