Sir Charles D’Oyly (British, 1781–1845)
An ayah holding a baby in Sir Charles D’Oyly’s summer room at Patna
Signed l.l.: Charles D’Oyly, watercolour over pencil
18 x 15.5 cm
The interior of the artist’s house at Patna is illustrated in two watercolours dated 1824 in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, nos. 2019 and 2020 which show that D’Oyly’s house was a busy place, full of visitors and dogs.
The present work, which relates to the Yale drawings, depicts details of the interior with a colonial sofa, a table, wall lights and a heavy curtain at the French window, as well as a travel book propped against the wall and a framed marine painting. A lush garden with palm trees can be glimpsed in the distance through the open window.
D’Oyly and his second wife Elizabeth Jane Ross moved to Patna in Bihar in 1821 when he became Opium Agent for the East India Company. Their house at Bankipore, a suburb of Patna, was a focus of artistic activity, and Elizabeth also painted as well as being a musician.