Posted on: 22 October 2015

Watercolour of Europeans being entertained by dancers and musicians in a splendid Indian house during Durga puja by William Prinsep (1794-1874) dating from the 1830s-1840s.

The subject matter and treatment is rather unlike Prinsep's normal style, and it is possible that this is based on another artist's composition, possibly W.F. Hutchisson's. William Prinsep, a merchant with the Calcutta firm of Palmer & Company, came from a family who had served in India for several generations. Five of his brothers were also in the country.

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Not just an 'Indian house' but in the palace of Raja Naba Krishna Deb of Sovabazaar, Kolkata. Who tje first Durga Puja to welcome Lord Robert Clive after the victory of Battle of Plassey.



Sidhartha Ghosh thanx shubho bijoya to you and meeta.

not necessarily so. william prinsep was born after clive's death. many bengali bhadralok homes did the durga puja in his times. william prinsep himself was of the same age as dwarkanath tagore (1794-1846), and was close to the latter, having originally employed him. many believe this is the durga puja at jorasanko in dwarkanath tagore's time.

The Jorasanko rajbari and nat mandir ia very diff to what is visualised. This rather resembles the sovabazaar in its glory and facts of nautch girls performing to entertain EIC officials, which again was the brainchild of Raja Naba Krkshna Deb who was out and to please Robert Clive. Wliam princep may have been born later and painted/ engraved with stories and legends of the past. Lets not forget the raja naba krishna's role as a betrayer. Nautch girls and concubines from benaras performing in the puja naat mandir aptly suggests the fancy to placate EIC rather than any bhakti for the goddess.

jorasanko thakurbari was not what it is now. there was nautch entertainment there too during dwarkanath's time. actually, william prinsep was employed by dwarkanath early in his career and later was made a partner of dwarkanath's carr tagore and company.

Bah! Lovely picture.

How interesting and beautiful!

Beautiful picture


Apparently Raja Naba Krishna Deb of sovabari asked Clive to celebrate t Plassey victory at his rajbari in front of his goddess Durga becoz Siraj ud daullah had destroyed t only church in Calcutta. That's how t rajbari Durga Puja gained importance .

Smita Biswas ji..there was no calcutta then..nd whts a church being destroyed got to do with placating EIC....

Acc to legend, Clive wanted to celebrate t victory in a church. Naba Krishna Deb offered his home to celebrate it. The archives also say it could be a rumour on t Raja s part to gain importance .