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Ancient Paintings of Chittagong

Chittagong is my home town. I would never know how much I love it if I did not have left this place. I found these priceless paintings of my beautiful home town (along with the captions) in the Facebook photo album of Nazmul Chowdhury Sharun. I immediately thought I should share them with everyone here. I have put them here just the way I found them. Have a look...

A view of Chittagong (Bengal) with river in distance. March 1813

[Water-color of Chittagong with a river in the distance by James George (1782-1828) in March 1813. Inscribed on the front in ink is: 'Chittagong. J. George. March, 1813.'
Chittagong, located in Bangladesh at the point where the Karnaphuli River empties into the Bay of Bengal, is a significant port and has been used for centuries by Arakanese, Arab, Persian, Portuguese and Mughal sailors. Under the Portuguese in the 16th century the town was known as Porto Grande and became an important trading center. It was captured by the Nawab of Bengal in 1666 and fell to the East India Company in 1760; 60 years later it was claimed by the emperor of Burma (now known as Myanmar) and this led to conflict between Burma and the United Kingdom in 1824. After Independence in 1947 Chittagong was part of East Pakistan but became part of the new nation of Bangladesh in 1971. Today Chittagong is the second largest city in Bangladesh, an important commercial center and the site of a steel mill and oil refinery.]
View of Chittagong c.1825, showing the Washing Green.

[From an album compiled with his brother William

Watercolor by Thomas Prinsep (1800-1830), of a view of Chittagong, in Bangladesh, dated c.1825. This image, from an album compiled with his brother William, shows the washing green, where cloths were laid out to dry in the sun, and is inscribed in the original sketch book: 'Chittagong looking inland'. Thomas was in charge of the surveying of the Sunderbunds; a large area of fresh and saltwater mangrove swamp in Bengal covering sixty to eighty miles and consisting of flat marshy islands covered with dense forests, inhabited by crocodiles and forming the final retreat of the Bengal Tiger. In 1826, after the outbreak of the First Burmese War, he was sent to Chittagong, formerly in East Bengal.]
Moored boats from Arakan or Chittagong

[Watercolor by Thomas (Prinsep, 1800-1830) of moored boats from Arakan or Chittagong, dated c.1828.
The image is inscribed on the album page: 'Mugh boats'. Mugh is the name commonly applied to natives of Arakan or Chittagong. Thomas Prinsep came from a family who served in India for three generations; five of his brothers were also in the country. Thomas was in charge of the surveying of the Sunderbunds; a large area of fresh and saltwater mangrove swamp in Bengal covering sixty to eighty miles and consisting of flat marshy islands covered with dense forests, inhabited by crocodiles and forming the final retreat of the Bengal Tiger. He made a detailed survey of the area and his maps of the 24 Parganas District formed part of the Hodges map of the Sunderbunds published in 1831. The limits of the Sunderbunds forest is known as 'The Princeps Line'. Thomas was sent to Chittagong in 1826.]
Village scene with thatched hut, villagers, bullock and river (Bengal)

[Pen-and-ink drawing of a village scene with a thatched hut, villagers, a bullock and river (Bengal) by Jane Blagrave (fl. 1809-1840) in 1837. Inscribed on the front of the mount in pencil is: ' J. Blagrave. Chittagong. 1837.'
Jane Blagrave was married to Charles George Blagrave (died 1836) of the East India Company's Bengal Service on 26th January 1809. This drawing is one of several that she made between 1820 and 1837 to be included in an album which originally included flower drawings signed 'JMAB'. The title page of the album was inscribed 'Mrs. C.G. Blagrave, 1837' and, opposite, 'C. Blagrave 1876'. The dealer who acquired the album was told that Jane Blagrave left India about 1840 and went to Ireland.]
Fragment of map of Chittagong (Bengal), 23 January, 1818, by John Cheape, Bengal Engineers.

[Pen-and-ink and water-color fragment of a map of Chittagong by John Cheape(1792-1875) in 1818.]


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