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Distant view of the city of Lahore (Punjab) from the right bank of the Ravi River. January 1849 2817

Distant view of the city of Lahore (Punjab) from the right bank of the Ravi River. January 1849 2817

Artist: Oldfield, Henry Ambrose (1822-1871)

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1849

Shelfmark: WD2817

Item number: 2817

Length: 19.4

Width: 34

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Painting

Water-colour painting of Lahore city in the Punjab (modern Pakistan) by Henry Ambrose Oldfield (1822-1871) in January 1849. Inscribed on the front in water-colour is: 'City of Lahore. Jany 1849. H.A. Oldfield'; on the back in ink: 'The stakes connected by ropes, across the river, mark the site of a ford for elephants. The Bridge of Boats, attempted to be destroyed by the Seiks in 1848 is just behind the building in the foreground.'

Lahore has been subject to many different ruling dynasties over the centuries but came to prominence under the Mughals after Babar defeated the Sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Shah Lodi, at Panipat in 1526. The ensuing period saw the construction of some of the finest monuments in the Mughal Empire. Lahore was the capital city of Emperor Akbar from 1584 to 1598. He built the massive Lahore Fort on the foundations of a previous fort and enclosed the city within a red brick wall boasting 12 gates. Jahangir and Shah Jahan extended the fort, built palaces and tombs, and laid out gardens. The great Badshahi Masjid and the Alamgiri gateway to the fort were built by the last of the great Mughals, Aurangzeb (1658-1707). Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) was the famous Sikh leader who ruled the Punjab (modern Pakistan) from 1799 to 1839. Following the Second Sikh War in 1849 the British occupied Lahore for almost a century.

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