Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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View of a Mosque and Gateway at Motijhil

Artist:
Attributed to Sita Ram (active 1814–23)
Object Name:
Illustrated single work
Date:
ca. 1814–23
Geography:
India, Bengal
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Opaque watercolor on paper
Dimensions:
Painting: H. 13 in. (33 cm) W. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm) Mat (Standard size B): H. 16 in. (40.6 cm) W. 22 in. (55.9 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky Fund, 2002
Accession Number:
2002.461
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 464
Sitaram, the painter of this enchanting scene, was hired to record the travels of Francis Rawdon, the governor-general of Bengal between 1814 and 1821. The painting illustrates the Sang-i Dalan palace complex at Motijhil, Bengal, where the Rawdons traveled in 1817. The artist, working in the picturesque style, has chosen to depict the scene not by foregrounding the site’s majestic palace but rather by emphasizing a romanticized state of decay, with fallen debris from the nearby structures. In doing so, Sitaram creates a melancholic view suggesting a nostalgia for the Mughal Empire before the arrival of the British.
Probably Francis Rawdon, 2nd Earl of Moira, later 1st Marquess of Hastings, governor-general of Bengal from 1814–21; Private collection, England; William K. Ehrenfeld, San Francisco (in 1998); [ Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch Ltd., until 2002; sold to MMA]
New York. Asia Society. "In the Realm of Gods and Kings: Arts of India, Selections from the Polsky Collections and The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 14, 2004–January 2, 2005.

Bautze, Joachim K. Interaction of Cultures: Indian and Western painting, 1780–1910: The Ehrenfeld Collection. Alexandria, VA: Art Services International, 1998. no. 82, pp. 308-309, ill., pl. 82 and front cover.

Topsfield, Andrew, ed. "Arts of India." In In the Realm of Gods and Kings. London; New York: Philip Wilson Publishers, 2004. no. 88, pp. 218–219, ill. (color).

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 286, pp. 342, 401-402, ill. p. 401 (color).



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