Chitpore Road and 'Black Pagoda', Calcutta
Artist: Prinsep, Thomas (1800-1830)
Watercolour of the Chitpore Road and the Black Pagoda in Calcutta by Thomas Prinsep (1800-1830) dated c.1829. Inscribed on the album page: 'Calcutta, Noubruttun-Chitpoor Bazaar'.
The Black Pagoda, a Shiva temple, was built on the Chitpore Road in 1731 by the wealthy merchant Govindram Mitter (1720-56). The main tower collapsed some time around 1800 and only one of the smaller subsidiary shrines survives. Chitpore Road is situated on the northern outskirts of Calcutta. The Prinsep family served in India for several generations. Thomas Princep was based in Calcutta from 1818 until 1830 when he died due to a riding accident. He was in charge of the surveying of the Sunderbunds, a large area of fresh and saltwater mangrove swamp in Bengal.