'Ajmere. India. Decr. 1878'
Artist: North, Marianne (1830-1890)
Medium: Oil on paper
Oil painting on paper of Ajmer, by Marianne North, dated December 1878.
Initially Marianne North (1830-1890) only painted botanical specimens and travelled around the world in search of interesting subject matter. She visited India in 1877-79 and completed over 200 paintings whilst there, painting landscape views as well. The town of Ajmer is situated next to the Ana Sagar Lake at the foot of Taragarh Hill, which rises 870 metres above sea level. In her autobiography 'Recollections of a happy life' of 1892, Marianne North wrote, "The lake of Ajmere, surrounded by its bare stony mountains, is beautiful, and the desert look of the northern end, combined with the clear blue haze over the water, reminded me of the Dead Sea. All the purest and faintest tints of salmon and lilac were there, and the sand came down to the very edge of the water, with great banyan-trees here and there, casting the deepest blue shadows on the ground under them. The outlines of the hills are fantastic, and the highest of them are topped with old fortresses. There are many marble palaces at one corner of the lake. The walls dip into the clear reflecting water, having pretty domes and other Oriental ornamentation, and behind them lovely gardens."