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A steep promontory with ruins by moonlight

A steep promontory with ruins by moonlight

Artist: D'Oyly, Sir Charles (1781-1845)

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1820

Shelfmark: WD 4404

Item number: f.16

Length: 12.2

Width: 16.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour by Sir Charles D'Oyly of a steep promontory with ruins by moonlight, 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. This view shows budgerows (bazras) and pinnace budgerows on the river. Budgerows were passenger-carrying native cargo barges, half covered with a roof construction which has been described as resembling 'a haystack upon a barge'. Pinnace budgerows were a cross between the latter and a small sailing ship.

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.'

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