Part of the City of Moorshedabad, Ancient Capital
Aquatinter: Sutherland, Thomas (b. 1785)
Medium: Aquatint, coloured
This is plate 4 from Charles Ramus Forrest's 'A Picturesque tour along the rivers Ganges and Jumna, in India'. Forrest was an East India Company official who made excursions along the rivers, producing drawings "attentively copied from nature, and in many instances coloured on the spot, ... while the magic effects of the scenes represented were still impressed on [his] mental vision".
Forrest made this view having been ordered to "proceed on duty from Calcutta to Berhmapore on the Cossimbazar river, a branch of the Ganges, which uniting with another, the Jellinghy, at Nuddea, forms the Hooghly river". He wrote that he was "anxious to see the ancient capital of the soubah of Bengal always esteemed the finest, most important, and richest promise of the empire", and so rode in that direction, soon reaching and entering Moorshedabad "by a large and massive gateway of brick, covered with a coating of stucco ... the parapet was pierced with ambrasures for cannon ... the city itself was wretched in the extreme, a mass of poor and mean sheds ... The streets were narrow and filthily dirty". Forrest regarded the view from the river as the best, and thus reproduced it for the reader.