View of a Mosque at Raj Mahal, India

  • About the work
    Location
    Country: India
    City: New Delhi
    Place: British High Commission

    William Hodges is thought to have painted this view of the ruined mosque at Raj Mahal in the mid 1780s for Warren Hastings, then Governor General of Bengal. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1787, a year before the commencement of Hastings' impeachment trial. The two men had first met in Calcutta in early 1781, not long after Hodges had arrived in India. Hastings became one of Hodges' most important patrons, providing him with a salary from the East India Company, to which he himself contributed, and purchasing many of his paintings, prints and drawings.

    William Hodges is known for his paintings of Indian subjects and for his important work as the official artist on board the 'Resolution' during Captain Cook's second expedition to the South Pacific between 1772 and 1775. He was apprenticed to the British landscape painter Richard Wilson and was relatively unknown when he was chosen to accompany Cook; on his return, the Admiralty commissioned him to produce paintings based on his work in the South Pacific. Hodges was made a Royal Academician in 1787, the same year in which this painting was exhibited. His career coincided with both the expansion of British imperialism and colonial presence and the development of the British art world following the founding in 1768 of the Royal Academy.

    In 2004 this painting went on loan to the exhibition 'William Hodges 1744-1797: The Art of Exploration', first held at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. The exhibition subsequently toured to the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, and Auckland Art Gallery.

  • About the artist
    William Hodges is known for his paintings of Indian subjects and for his important work as the official artist on board the ‘Resolution’ during Captain Cook’s second expedition to the South Pacific between 1772 and 1775. He was apprenticed to the British landscape painter Richard Wilson and was relatively unknown when he was chosen to accompany Cook; on his return, the Admiralty commissioned him to produce paintings based on his work in the South Pacific. Hodges was made a Royal Academician in 1787, the same year in which this painting was exhibited. His career coincided with both the expansion of British imperialism and colonial presence and the development of the British art world following the founding in 1768 of the Royal Academy.
  • Explore
    Materials & Techniques
    canvas, oil, oil painting
  • Details
    Title
    View of a Mosque at Raj Mahal, India
    Date
    Medium
    Oil on canvas
    Dimensions
    height: 105.50 cm, width: 128.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Morton Morris, April 1987
    Inscription
    None visible
    Provenance
    Possibly collection of Warren Hastings of Daylesford Court, Worcestershire; possibly Daylesford sale 26 August 1853; collection of Percy Moore Turner; with Morton & Morris Company Ltd., London; from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in March 1947
    GAC number
    16592