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Company paintings, Lutyens Sketches & Walcott Watercolours

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Fort St. George and the Madras Roads, Oliver Hall, Oil on Canvas, 8’9”x3’0”

Fort St. George and the Madras Roads, Oliver Hall, Oil on Canvas, 8’9”x3’0”
Fort St. George and the Madras Roads, Oliver Hall, Oil on Canvas, 8’9”x3’0”

Location: Long Drawing Room

Four paintings, two for the Long Drawing Room and two for the Library were specially commissioned during the building of the Government House. This painting was by Oliver Hall who was born in 1869 in London and studied at the Royal College of Art followed by stints at Westminster and Lambeth Schools of Art. This painting was painted in England from the photograph of the engraving by James Walthen in 1754.

With Fort St. George occupying the background, this horizontal painting shows Madras of 1754. A few sailing ships are in the frontal ground of this infinite sea. St. Mary’s Church with its spire manifests in the central plane. A small church is at the left centre while a row of undulating hills extend towards right of this composition. Amidst rows of architectural elements, swirling clouds in shades of blue and grey forms background.

Tall spires of architectural elements stand in harmony with the sky above them. Amidst this calm ensemble, the fluttering flag of the British Empire scripts its dominance over Indian territories. Reflections of ships and their open sails in the waters below highlight the artistic merit of Oliver Hall.

The research and compilation of the E- Catalogue has been realised by Shri VenuRajamony- Press Secretary to the President of India and Ruchi Kumar- Research Associate.

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