Thomas Daniell

Idgah at Amroha

1810

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 981 x 1359 mm
frame: 1115 x 1500 x 75 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1971
Reference
T01404

Display caption

Amroha lies to the east of Delhi in the north of India. The artist, Thomas Daniell, saw this Idgah (Muslim religious building) while travelling in India with his nephew and collaborator William during the years 1786-94. The Daniells’ paintings and prints, particularly the publication Oriental Scenery (1795-1808), introduced a western audience to the landscapes of India.

The trees that frame and balance the scene were a well-established pictorial convention, derived from the classical landscape paintings of the French artist Claude Lorrain. In this way, Daniell’s picture casts an unfamiliar landscape into a format more familiar to western eyes.

Gallery label, October 2013

Catalogue entry

Thomas Daniell 1749–1840

T01404 Idgah at Amroha 1810

Inscribed ‘T.DANIELL 1810’ on a stone b.c.
Canvas, 38¿ x 53½ (98 x 136).
Purchased from Dr Maurice Shellim through Mr W.G.Archer (Grant-in- Aid) 1971.
Coll: as for T01403.
Exh: R.A. 1813 (220, as ‘The Eed-gah, a place designed for the performance of solemn festivals by the professors of the Mahomedan religion, near Amrooah, in the Rohilla district, East Indies’).
Lit: Thomas Sutton, The Daniells, 1954, P.45.

The Daniells visited Amroha in the Moradabad district between 20 and 22 March 1789. The idgah seen here is an enclosed area used by Mohammedans for congregational prayer.

Through their paintings, drawings and aquatints (especially Oriental Scenery), the Daniells did much to familiarize the English with this sort of Indian architecture, the influence of which was to culminate in the Royal Pavilion at Brighton.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1970–1972, London 1972.

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