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Works from Agra

The East India Company took the cities of Agra and Delhi in 1803. In the years to follow, British draughtsmen trained local artists in pen-and-ink and watercolour techniques to make detailed architectural studies of the Mughal monuments in the cities and their environs.

These are idealised views of what the buildings would have looked like when first constructed. This suggests that images of this type may have originated as working drawings to be used by East India Company engineers responsible for the upkeep and restoration of Mughal buildings.

Such European-style paintings of architecture, people, animals and botanical subjects produced for European patrons are often referred to as ‘Company paintings’.