'Street in Oodipore. India'
Artist: North, Marianne (1830-1890)
Medium: Oil on paper
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. Udaipur is the new capital of the Mewar State (Chittor was sacked in 1567) and was founded by Maharana Udai Singh (ruled 1567-72) of the Sisodia Rajputs. It is located on the east bank of Pichola Lake and the town is dominated by the main royal residence in Udaipur, the City Palace. This consists of an impressive series of buildings in the Rajput style, flanked by octagonal corner towers surmounted by cupolas. Inside the palace is a maze of reception halls, residential suites and internal courts. On the lake there are many palaces built on small islands that were used as summer retreats and pleasure pavilions. In her autobiography, 'Recollections of a happy life' of 1892, Marianne North wrote: "The great Moslem fete of the Muharram took place while I was at Udaipur...The streets below became crammed with people; all the housetops were overflowing, and looked like flower-beds of bright colours. Then the models of the tombs of the Moslem saints were carried past, with extraordinary hobby-camels under them...The colouring of the whole was marvellous: every shade of red was mixed with black, with a sprinkling of turquoise, dark blue, green, and yellow. I made a sketch of the whole procession winding up the narrow High Street, with the Palace and great Temple against the sky above it."