'Poshkur, India. Decr. 1878'
Artist: North, Marianne (1830-1890)
Medium: Oil on paper
Oil painting of the lake of Pushkar by Marianne North, dated 1878. Inscribed: 'Poshkur, India. Decr. 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. Pushkar is a small town near Ajmer built around a sacred lake of the same name. The lake is surrounded by stone steps leading to bathing ghats and shrines, depicted in this view. The holiest temple in the town dates to the 17th century and is dedicated to Brahma. As one of the few Brahma temples in the world, it is believed that he personally chose the site at Pushkar. In her autobiography, 'Recollections of a halppy life' of 1892, Marianne North wrote: "It is a very lovely spot, surrounded by elegant buildings of different ages and styles, and is much frequented by pilgrims. The water was clear...and full of lotus stalks, leaves and seeds...The great banyan-trees had twisted their roots in and out of the broken walls and buildings...The view of the lake in the sunset lights was most lovely, as I came over the top of the pass and sat down to sketch it. The grey-whiskered monkeys came out the banyan-trees and imitated me-graceful creatures, with long curling tails, and silver-gray coats."