The riverside of the holy city of Banaras has always attracted the attention of people. From the late 18th century onwards, both amateur and professional European painters were drawn to paint the panoramic scenic beauty of its ghats. Here are presented 12 gouaches painted by a native artist in the first half of the 19th century. These paintings are the work of a “Company School” local painter, working in a localised tradition of British landscape water colour.
Temples, palaces, houses, ghat scenes and boats on the river give a full-colour wonderful panoramic of the Banaras riverfront as it stood in that period. Pilgrims taking ablution in the holy waters of the Ganga, washermen washing clothes, corpses being cremated, cows and horses roaming, and such daily scenes as can still be seen today on the banks of the river have been treated with rare insight and humour.