Interior of a Quadrangle or Court, containing a Buddhist temple (or more strictly speaking a ‘Deota Ke Mookan’) in Patun. March 1853
Artist: Oldfield, Henry Ambrose (1822-1871)
Watercolour of a Buddhist temple at Lalitpur (Patan) in Nepal, by Henry Ambrose Oldfield (1822-1871), dated March 1853. The image is inscribed on the reverse: 'Interior of a Quadrangle or Court, containing a Buddhist temple (or more strictly speaking a 'Deota Ke Mookan') in Patun. March 1853', with notes.
Lalitpur, the 'City of Beauty' was founded in the 2nd century by the Kirats and it remained a valley kingdom until the late 15th century when it became a sovereign state, together with Kathmandu and Bhaktapur. All three were built around Durbar Squares containing Palace and Temple complexes. The artist, Dr Oldfield, was Residency Surgeon at Kathmandu from 1850-1863, and wrote in 'Sketches from Nipal, Historical and Descriptive...' (1880): "In each city the largest and most important building is the royal palace or darbar. It is situated in a central part of the city, and opposite to its principal front there is an open irregular square, which allows free access to the palace, and round which temples of various kinds are clustered together...In Kathmandu, Patan and Bhatgaon, most of the principal temples are in the immediate vicinity of the darbar; many are within its precincts, and many more are crowded around or opposite to its principal façade...most of the principal Hindu temples in Patan are clustered together round the immediate vicinity of the palace, while all its Buddhist temples are scattered about in in different parts of the city, and some of the most ancient are situated in its outskirts."