Summer Retreat of the Nawab of Nuldroog, Deccan. Watercolour c. 1840s


Bellasis, John Brownrigg, Major, 19th Bombay Infantry.  An attractive small watercolour on stout paper, unmounted,  8½ x 5½ ins [22 x 14 cm]. The lower edge of the painting has the title in Bellasis’s neat hand Summer Retreat of the Nawab of Nuldroog nr. Sholapoor (Deckan) E.I.. The water can be turned on at pleasure causing a cool draught thro’ the room in hot weather. The artist’s usual signature initials JBB appear to the lower right corner. As a Bombay Army officer most of the artist’s work was done in Western India and in lands of the old Bombay Presidency. This fortified estate in the Deccan lay between Poona and Hyderabad. The interesting use of water is a feature of other fortresses, for instance at Deeg.  The delicate and precise nature of the drawing is typical of the officer’s work and drawing was a essential part of an officer’s training at te time.   apr17/1

Major John Brownrigg Bellasis [c. 1806- 1890] was commissioned into the East India Company’s Bombay Army in the 10th Native Infantry in 1822 and remained with that regiment for most of his career until becoming a lieutenant colonel when  he moved first to the 8th and then served in several regiments. He was on furlough during much of 1841 & 1842 and it is this period when he seems to have been painting most consistently. He came from a military family, his father, also John, being a major general commanding the Bombay Artillery around the time of his birth. The East India Register 1825 when John Brownrigg Bellasis was an ensign in the 10th shows Jonathan Hutchins Bellasis was a  captain in the same regiment, probably an elder brother, and Edward H. Bellasis was Private Secretary to the Governor.

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