'Water Palace - Chitore. India. Decr. 1878'
Artist: North, Marianne (1830-1890)
Medium: Oil on paper
Oil painting of Padmini's Palace in Chittaurgarh, Rajasthan 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. Chittaurgarh, 110 km east of Udaipur, is the location of the hilltop Chitor Fort, the site where Emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605) attacked the Rajput rulers of Mewar in 1567. Padmini's Palace is situated within the fort and originally dates from c.1300, it was rebuilt c.1880. This drawing looks towards the palace buildings across a tank (reservoir) with Padmini's Palace, a small island pavilion, in the middle. Padmini was the wife of Rana Ratan Singh I (r.1302-3) and was a victim of the first siege of Chittaurgarh in 1303 by Ala-ud-Din Khalji, the Sultan of Delhi. In her autobiography, 'Recollections of a happy life' of 1892, Marianne North wrote: "There were...small clear lakes of limestone water, in which were huge crocodiles...In one of the lakes was an island-palace, which was entirely taken possession of by gray herons and flamingoes-the roof was crowded with them."