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History Painting - Painting Histor

  • History paintings were paintings that depicted episodes from British imperial rule in India.

  • These paintings were very popular.

  • British victories in India served as rich material for history painters in Britain.

  • The British painters asked travellers who had visited India about the British victories there. They transferred these accounts into paintings. These paintings were popular in Britain as it showed the British as superior and powerful.

One of the first of these history paintings was produced by Francis Hayman in 1762 and placed on public display in the Vauxhall Gardens in London.

Francis Hayman


Battle of Plassey by Francis Hayman

  • The picture depicts the victory of Lord Clive over Sirajuddaulah in the Battle of Plassey.

  • It was a victory won through conspiracy and the traitor Mir Jafar was installed as the Nawab of Murshidabad.

  • The painting shows Lord Clive being welcomed by Mir Jafar and his troops after the Battle of Plassey.

  • The actual war is not shown in the painting.

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