William Carpenter’s Kashmir Paintings c1855

William Carpenter Junior (1818-1899) was a water colorist, born in London to a portrait painter Margaret Sarah Carpenter who had come to India first time in 1850. William Carpenter spent several years in northern part of India between 1850 and 1857. Some extract from the book, “INDIAN LIFE AND LANDSCAPES BY WESTERN ARTISTS” is written as under :-

WILLIAM CARPENTER IN KASHMIR
The first of at least three annual trips to Kashmir was probably in 1853, when he may have stayed for many months. Surrounded by a continuous range of snowy peaks, the oval valley of Kashmir, the Dal Lake with its floating gardens of lotuses and lilies, and the delightful climate especially in early summer and autumn had attracted European travellers for several centuries. The Emperor Akbar conquered the country in 1588, and the Fort of Hari Parbat on an isolated hill west of the Dal Lake was built subsequently as a Mughal stronghold. It was Jahangir, however, who created the pleasure gardens, notably the Shalimar Bagh on the shore of the lake, where he regularly spent the summer months. Romantic concepts associated with the Vale of Kashmir developed, finding expression in literature. François Bernier, for example, was one of the earliest Europeans to visit and describe the region. One of the most popular and widely read poems of the nineteenth century was Thomas Moore’s Lalla Rookh, which had five editions within eight months of its first appearance in 1817. Based on various travellers’ tales and pictorial sources the poem focuses on Emperor Aurangzeb’s daughter, Lalla Rookh, and provides a generalized view of the Orient using exotic imagery and a mixture of Indian, Persian and Turkish elements. While travelling through Kashmir in 1838, Godfrey Thomas Vigne wrote approvingly: ‘At one glance we have before us the whole of the localities described in Lalla Rookh. I use the word described, for there is great justice in the ideas of scenery to be collected from the poem.’ As one of the early explorers in the region, Vigne was probably among the first observers to be captivated by Moore’s romantic vision of Kashmir. It was only after the annexation of the Punjab in 1846 that the area became more accessible to European travellers of the nineteenth century. That Carpenter had also read Lalla Rookh is obvious from the title to one of his watercolours, ‘The Shalimar garden; scene of the festivities at the marriage of Lalla Rookh, daughter of Aurunzebe’. Judging from the sequence of the Kashmir watercolours listed in Carpenter’s exhibition catalogue of 1881, these were almost certainly displayed as a group. Besides general views of the valley and lakes, Shah Hamadan’s Mosque, they included the quaint wooden houses and streets of Srinagar, bridges across the Jhelum River and Mar canal, Kashmiri women and nautch girls, and the Temple of the Sun at Martund, to which Carpenter made a special excursion. He also obviously met the Governor of Kashmir, Nawab Shaikh Imam-ud Din.

 

Two natch girls, Kashmir 08/1854 (made)

Two natch girls, Kashmir 08/1854 (made)

A boatman's children at Srinagar, Kashmir ca. 1855 (painted)

A boatman’s children at Srinagar, Kashmir c1855 (painted)

The Nishat Bagh c1855

The Nishat Bagh c1855

Hindus bathing in the early morning during a festival in Kashmir c1855

Hindus bathing in the early morning during a festival in Kashmir c1855

Painting c1855

Painting c1855

Nawab Sheik Imam-u-din, late Governor of Kashmir c1855

Nawab Sheikh Imam-u-din, late Governor of Kashmir c1855

Gulab Singh with Child

Gulab Singh with Child

The fort of Hari Parbat from the lake c1855

The fort of Hari Parbat from the lake c1855

On the Mar Canal at Srinagar, Kashmir c1855

On the Mar Canal at Srinagar, Kashmir c1855

View on the Mar Canal at Srinagar, Kashmir c1855

View on the Mar Canal at Srinagar, Kashmir c1855

View on the Mar Canal at Srinagar, Kashmir.

Shah Hamadan's Mosque c1854

Shah Hamadan’s Mosque c1854

Interior of Shah Hamadan's Masjid during a religious ceremony c1855

Interior of Shah Hamadan’s Masjid during a religious ceremony c1855

The tomb of Makhdoom Sahib c1855

The tomb of Makhdoom Sahib c1855

An arch of the second bridge at Srinagar, Kashmir c1855

An arch of the second bridge at Srinagar, Kashmir c1855

On the second bridge at Srinagar, Kashmir c1855

On the second bridge at Srinagar, Kashmir c1855

Source : From the V&A’s collections

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Some Paintings of Kashmir (1760-1886)

Some of the paintings of Kashmir made by outsiders between 1760 to 1886. For description, click on the image.

Sheik Imam-Ud-Din, Runjur Sing, and Dewan Dina Nath by James Duffield Harding in 1847

Sheik Imam-Ud-Din, Runjur Sing, and Dewan Dina Nath by James Duffield Harding in 1847

Village life in Kashmir by Mir Kalan Khan, working in the Lucknow/Faizabad style, Year 1760.

Village life in Kashmir by Mir Kalan Khan, working in the Lucknow/Faizabad style, Year 1760.

Bijbehara by James Duffield Harding in 1847

Bijbehara by James Duffield Harding in 1847

Mosque of Shah Hamadan by James Duffield Harding in 1847

Mosque of Shah Hamadan by James Duffield Harding in 1847

Wular Lake by James Duffield Harding in 1847

Wular Lake by James Duffield Harding in 1847

This chromolithograph is taken from William Simpson's 'India: Ancient and Modern' . Year 1867. It illustrates the return visit made by Viceroy Lord Canning to Maharaja Ranbir Singh of Kashmir on 9 March 1860, during the viceroy's progress through upper India. The Maharaja had come to meet him a day earlier. The Maharaja's tent was decorated with cashmere shawls, and silk and gold materials were placed beneath the chair reserved for the viceroy.

This chromolithograph is taken from William Simpson’s ‘India: Ancient and Modern’ . Year 1867. It illustrates the return visit made by Viceroy Lord Canning to Maharaja Ranbir Singh of Kashmir on 9 March 1860, during the viceroy’s progress through upper India. The Maharaja had come to meet him a day earlier. The Maharaja’s tent was decorated with cashmere shawls, and silk and gold materials were placed beneath the chair reserved for the viceroy.

Water-colour painting of the source of the River Jhelum in an octagonal tank at Verinag (Kashmir) by Charles J. Cramer-Roberts (1834-1895) in 1886. .'The spring is situated approximately 80 kilometres from Srinagar at an altitude of 1,876 metres and is believed to be the chief source of the Jhelum River. It was originally enclosed by a circular wall with a circumference of 80 metres. The emperor Jahangir (r. 1605-1627) had the shape changed to the favoured Mughal octagon in 1620.

Water-colour painting of the source of the River Jhelum in an octagonal tank at Verinag (Kashmir) by Charles J. Cramer-Roberts (1834-1895) in 1886. .’The spring is situated approximately 80 kilometres from Srinagar at an altitude of 1,876 metres and is believed to be the chief source of the Jhelum River. It was originally enclosed by a circular wall with a circumference of 80 metres. The emperor Jahangir (r. 1605-1627) had the shape changed to the favoured Mughal octagon in 1620.

Water-colour painting of a ruined temple at Boniar by Charles J. Cramer-Roberts 1876

Water-colour painting of a ruined temple at Boniar by Charles J. Cramer-Roberts 1876

Udhampur by James Duffield Harding in 1847

Udhampur by James Duffield Harding in 1847

Water-colour painting of Rajaori in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir by Charles J. Cramer-Roberts (1834-1895) in 1886.

Water-colour painting of Rajaori in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir by Charles J. Cramer-Roberts (1834-1895) in 1886.

Jammu by James Duffield Harding in 1847. This depicts a view of Jammu with the residence of Maharaja Gulab Singh on the banks of a tributary to the Chenab with mountains in the background and a hunting party in the foreground.

Jammu by James Duffield Harding in 1847. This depicts a view of Jammu with the residence of Maharaja Gulab Singh on the banks of a tributary to the Chenab with mountains in the background and a hunting party in the foreground.

Kashmir Shawl Factory - This chromolithograph is taken from William Simpson's 'India: Ancient and Modern' . Year 1867

Kashmir Shawl Factory – This chromolithograph is taken from William Simpson’s ‘India: Ancient and Modern’ . Year 1867

                                                           

 
Source : British Library