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Painting - View eastwards from the steps behind Mount Mary Church, Bandra, Bombay
  • View eastwards from the steps behind Mount Mary Church, Bandra, Bombay
    Carpenter, William, born 1818 - died 1899
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View eastwards from the steps behind Mount Mary Church, Bandra, Bombay

  • Object:

    Painting

  • Place of origin:

    Mumbai, India (made)

  • Date:

    25th December 1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Carpenter, William, born 1818 - died 1899 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on paper

  • Museum number:

    IS.71-1881

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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William Carpenter was the eldest son of the distinguished portrait painter Margaret Sarah Carpenter and of William Hookham Carpenter, who became Keeper of the Prints and Drawings Department at the British Museum. In early 1850 he set off in the footsteps of his younger brother Percy, also an artist, and landed in Bombay. He spent much of his time painting portraits of local rulers and the surrounding countryside, often wearing Indian dress himself. He travelled widely, from Sri Lanka in the south to Kashmir in the north, and he also spent some time in the Punjab and Afghanistan before moving south to Rajasthan. He appears to have returned to England in 1856. Ten years later he was living in Boston, USA, but he moved back to London, where he died in 1899.

Carpenter's Indian pictures display a particular interest in costume, agriculture, and the day-to-day lives of the local inhabitants. In this picture, painted on Christmas Day 1850, Carpenter shows some of the islands that make up Bombay. He captures the view eastwards from the steps behind Mount Mary Church in Bandra on the island of Salsette, and along Mahim Creek. Sion Fort is to the right of centre, and the then new Mahim Causeway linking the Bombay and Salsette islands can be seen in the middle distance. In the foreground, two children are playing while their mother rests her water-jar on a wall.

Physical description

In this view, the new Mahim Causeway linking the Bombay (Mumbai) and Salsette islands is visible in the middle distance. The ghats of mainland Bombay are in the far distance. While in Bombay, Carpenter took a local excursion to the nearby Salsette islands during Christmas and the New Year of 1850-51 which included a visit to Mount Mary Church at Bandra on Christmas Day.

Place of Origin

Mumbai, India (made)

Date

25th December 1850 (made)

Artist/maker

Carpenter, William, born 1818 - died 1899 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on paper

Marks and inscriptions

W Carpenter Bombay | Sion fort Mahim Causeway and distant Ghauts from a Portuguese Church Bandora Dec 25th 1850.

Dimensions

Height: 25.5 cm, Width: 35.2 cm

Object history note

Historical significance: William Carpenter (1818-99)

William Carpenter was trained at the Royal Academy Schools, and was the eldest son of the distinguished portrait painter Margaret Sarah Carpenter and William Hookham Carpenter, who became Keeper of the Prints and Drawings Department at the British Museum.

He was in India from 1850 t0 1856, during which time he travelled extensively from Bombay (Mumbai) and across western India to Rajasthan, Delhi, Kashmir, Lahore and Afghanistan. His depiction of every day street scenes and groups of people is remarkably accurate and animated, his portraits vividly capturing the character of his sitters and the glowing effects of sunlight as cityscapes and architectural monuments. Brilliantly executed in a range of warm colours, his watercolours evoke a gentle romanticism.

After his return to England, The Illustrated London News published some of his watercolours. In 1881, he exhibited 275 of his paintings in a one-man show in the South Kensington Museum, London. This entire collection was subsequently acquired by the V&A.

Descriptive line

View eastwards from the steps behind Mount Mary Church, Bandra, Bombay, by William Carpenter, painting, watercolour on paper, India, 1850

Exhibition History

Indian Life and Landscape by Western Artists. Paintings and Drawings from the V&A 1790-1927. (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai 08/12/2008-22/02/2009)

Labels and date

In this view, the new Mahim Causeway linking the Bombay (Mumbai) and Salsette islands is visible in the middle distance. The ghats of mainland Bombay are in the far distance. While in Bombay, Carpenter took a local excursion to the nearby Salsette islands during Christmas and the New Year of 1850-51 which included a visit to Mount Mary Church at Bandra on Christmas Day. [1/12/2008]

Subjects depicted

Landscape; Trees

Categories

Paintings

Collection code

SSEA

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Qr_O93110
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