River boat filled with people in the foreground, cows on the river bank and wooded hills beyond, near Udhua Nullah, Santal Parganas District
Artist: D'Oyly, Sir Charles (1781-1845)
Watercolour by Sir Charles D'Oyly of a budgerow filled with people on the river near Udhua Nullah, Santal Parganas District, from an album in red leather covers with a gold stamped border, containing 28 water-colours of a trip along the Bhagirathi and Ganges Rivers, dated August to October 1820. The trip must have been to take up his new appointment as Opium Agent at Patna. Udhua Nullah, located in Bihar, was the site of the defeat of Nawab Mir Kasim of Bengal by Major Adams in 1763. Budgerows (or bazras) were passenger-carrying native cargo barges, half covered with a roof construction which has been described as resembling 'a haystack upon a barge'.
D'Oyly arrived in India in 1797 and spent his first few years in Calcutta as Assistant to the Registrar of the Court of Appeal. He was Collector of Dacca from 1808-18 and was Opium Agent at Patna from 1821-1831. Whilst at Dacca he met the artist George Chinnery and became his pupil from 1808-12. D'Oyly was a prolific amateur artist who was greatly admired by the European community. He set up and ran a lithographic press, 'The Behar Lithography', and also formed an amateur art society 'The United Patna and Gaya Society' or 'Behar School of Athens': 'for the promotion of Arts and Sciences and for the circulation of fun and merriment of all descriptions.'