Bengal

The Ruins of Gour

This book comprises 18 drawings of various prominent structures that once made up the ancient citadel of Gaur, as well as a topographical map of the expanse of its ruins as found in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Gaur, also known as Gauda, Lakshmanavati, Lakhnauti and Jannatabad, served as the seat of many… Read more »

India (Northern Part)

This map titled ‘India (northern Part)’ highlights the northern divisions of territory into presidencies and native states. The Bengal Presidency is marked in red including the lieutenant-governorships of the North-West provinces, Oudh, Punjab and Central Provinces; Bombay Presidency is marked in green, Madras in Yellow and native states in orange. After significant territorial acquisitions were… Read more »

Bengal

This map by Dutch publisher Pieter van der Aa is from his book, Royaumma de Grand Mogol, published in Paris in 1729. It is based on William Baffin’s map, ‘INDOISTANI A Description of East India, conteyninge th’ Empire of The Great Mogoll,’ that was published in 1619. Baffin’s map was the first modern map of… Read more »

View from Quai Dupleix on the Hougli river, Chandernagore (Chandannagar)

This photograph shows a view of the river Hooghly from Chandannagar’s riverside promenade known today as Strand Road or Strand Promenade. Estimated to have been built primarily in the 19th century, waterfront road was previously named Quai Dupleix after Joseph Francois Dupleix, who prior to serving as the French Indian Governor General, had served as… Read more »

Quai dupleix, Chandernagore (Chandannagar)

This photograph shows a view of Chandannagar’s riverside promenade known today as Strand Road or Strand Promenade. Stretching alongside the Hooghly, the promenade is estimated to have been built primarily in the 19th century, and even today remains an iconic landmark in the city – where residents come to unwind and gaze at the river.… Read more »

Clock Tower and Jail, Chandernagore (Chandannagar)

Pictured here is a clock tower built in 1880 in Chandannagar’s Strand Promenade. Featuring a clock gifted by Joseph Daumain St. Pourcain in 1845, the building served as a police unit and jail, and continues to house the town’s police station to this day. The photograph is among several of 19th century Bengal captured by… Read more »

Strand Promenade, Chandernagore (Chandannagar)

Pictured here is Chandannagar’s wide riverside promenade known as Strand Road or Strand Promenade. Stretching alongside the Hooghly, the promenade is estimated to have been built primarily in the 19th century, and even today remains an iconic landmark in the city – where residents come to unwind and gaze at the river. The photograph is… Read more »

Northern India including the Presidency of Calcutta

This is a decorative, mid-19th century map of Northern India drawn and engraved by J. Rapkin (vignettes by A. H. Wray & J. H. Kernot) and published in John Tallis’s Illustrated Atlas (London & New York: John Tallis & co, c.1851). The Illustrated Atlas, published from 1849 to 1853, was the last decorative world atlas.… Read more »

Carte Du Bengale (Map of Bengal)

This map, Carte Du Bengale, is attributed to Arkstée & Merkus, but it is based on a map by French geographer Loui Brion de la Tour, who also made the Atlas Géneral, Civil et Ecclésiastique’, 1766, and ‘Atlas Général’, 1790-98. The eighteenth century was a time of conflict between the English and French in both… Read more »

View of the Kali Ghat, Calcutta

The Kalighat area first finds its mention in the 15th century Bengali text, Manasā-Vijaya, written by poet Bipradas Pipilai. It is also mentioned in a 16th century literary work Chandimangala by Mukundaram Chakrabarti. Kalighat was also established as a pilgrimage centre after legend placed a fragment of Sati’s body here, near the Ganges and since… Read more »

Kali Ghat, Calcutta

This is an image of a bridge over Tolly Nullah at Kalighat in Calcutta  by Samuel Bourne. Warren Hastings, the Governor General of India from 1773 – 1785, had acquired permission in 1763 to build a suspension bridge over Tolly Nullah which was to connect Kalighat to his garden house in Alipore. It was later… Read more »

La Mode De Calcutta

The fashion evolution and textile legacy of Calcutta and the Bengal Presidency

Untitled (Jackfruit tree)

This post-card work is by Jadupati Basu and is addressed to Nandalal Bose.  Jadupati Basu portrays a close-up detailed painting of a jackfruit tree. The painting references hot weather and summertime, as it shows the fruits on the tree to be plump and ripe. The tree appears to be in full bloom with leaves, ripened… Read more »

The yews, Darjeeling

This post-card work is by Jadupati Basu and is addressed to Nandalal Bose.  Jadupati Basu has portrayed a scene of trees against the horizon at dusk. The painting is titled ‘The yews, Darjeeling’; there are faint amounts of light around the trees, suggesting that it could be around sunset. There are two taller trees that… Read more »

Jhijhirdak (Sound of the Crickets)

In the first of this series of ink on card work addressed to Nandalal Bose, Jadupati Basu has depicted a nighttime scene of crickets in a bush. He has titled this painting ‘jhijhirdak,’ which translates from Bengali to ‘the sound of the crickets.’ In this postcard artwork, Basu is conveying to the recipient, Bose, his… Read more »

Untitled

The subject of this painting is the bust of a young man. The work is expressionist and connects with the viewer directly. The connection is achieved particularly through the soft but direct gaze of the subject. Artist Jogen Chowdhury has achieved mastery in creating figures using only black lines. These lines are almost always distorted… Read more »

Man Kneeling I

The subject of this minimalist painting is a prostrated man. Artist Jogen Chowdhury’s signature style is in use here – fine, seemingly unbroken lines which create figures infused with feelings of social distress. This painting titled ‘man kneeling’ is a famous composition by Chowdhury first made in 2007. He recreates this image several times thereafter.… Read more »

Tipu Sultan Mosque, Calcutta

This photograph shows the Tipu Sultan Mosque in Calcutta.  For several years in the 18th century, Tipu Sultan fought the East India Company’s formidable imperial policies with the help of his French alliance. He died in 1799, during the fourth and final Anglo-Mysore War that resulted in the fall of Seringapatam.  After defeat in 1798,… Read more »