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Among the American Orientalists, Edwin Lord Weeks is arguably one of the most prestigious names. Like many other American artists of the late 19th century, Weeks spent the majority of his adult life either traveling around the world or in France studying under masters such as Jean-Léon Gérôme and Léon Bonnat. Those travels would inspire much of his work, either directly, with the artist producing several works in loco, or by providing him with a genuinely magnificent repertoire of sketches and even photographs that would inform the paintings created in his studio, which is the case for much of his work.
Believed to belong to the former group, this oil on canvas is understood to have been painted in 1883, during one of Weeks’ first travels to India, since it is believed to have been exhibited, along with other paintings produced by the artist in India, in the 1884 Paris Salon, where Weeks was awarded the Medal of Honor. It portrays a scene that must have called the attention of the American artist, where the beautifully decorated pleasure barge of His Highness Maharaja Bahadur Sri Sir Ishwari Prasad Narayan Singh is seen floating down the Ganga river, accompanied by a smaller barge that seems to be filled with servants and assistants.
The barge’s prow is richly painted in blue, while the rest of the vessel seems to be covered in gold leaf, and some tents are erected on its deck, protecting the Maharaja from the Sun, dirt and prying eyes. The scene is set in the city of Benares, now known as Varanasi, in the region of Uttar Pradesh, a place of great spiritual importance for India. Not only is it considered to be the holiest of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism and Jainism, but the city also had an instrumental role in the development of Buddhism and Ravidassia and is even said to have been founded by the deity Shiva.
Inspired by the city’s beauty and spirituality, Weeks produced many paintings of its scenes and landmarks, often depicting the banks of the Ganga river. Furthermore, knowingly or not, here Weeks also portrayed the first ruler of Benares to be a true collaborator of the English Crown and the East India Trading Company, which played an essential role in getting him the title of Maharaja, which was given by the Crown to those semi-independent rulers who acquiesced the British dominion.
Real Oil Paints, Real Brushes, Real Artists, Real Art. The Certificate of Authenticity which arrives with every painting provides an assurance and verifies the authenticity of the hand painted fine art reproduction you purchased. Each oil painting is created by hand using only the finest canvas and oil paints available.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of The Barge Of The Maharaja Of Benares, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of The Barge Of The Maharaja Of Benares that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.
Free shipping is included in the price of the painting. Once the painting is ready and dry enough to ship, we will roll it and ship it in a sturdy cardboard tube.
We always ship express via courier to ensure your order reaches you as soon as possible - normally within three business days. The total delivery time from the moment you place your order until the package is delivered to your door is normally between three to four weeks.
If, in the unlikely event you were dissatisfied with the painting after reviewing it in person, it can be returned for a full refund for up to 365 days after delivery.
When you receive the painting; you are free to return it for more revisions or else for a full refund minus our actual shipping cost -- which is, on average, $25 per painting.
1st Art Gallery provides a full warranty covering manufacturing and material defects for paintings purchased from our website. The warranty covers damage for normal use. Damage caused by incidents such as accidents or inappropriate use are not covered.
Depending on the degree of damage to the warranted painting, it will either be repaired or replaced. This warranty service is provided free of charge.
When purchasing a painting on its own, it will arrive rolled inside a secure tube with an extra 1.5" of white canvas on all sides so you can easily frame it in any local frame shop.
You may choose to purchase your painting framed, in which case, it will arrive "ready to hang". We offer more than 20 beautiful models, all hand finished and expertly assembled by our experienced framers.
Note that for safety reasons we can only frame up to a certain size. Once the maximum size is reached the framing option is automatically disabled.
If you are planning to frame your painting yourself,
use an existing frame, or frame it locally, you may choose to order your painting with a stretching service,
meaning that it will arrive mounted on wooden bars.
If you're considering not framing your painting at all, you may opt for a Gallery Wrap. The term Gallery Wrap refers to the way the canvas is stretched, which is by wrapping it around thick stretcher bars, about 1.5 inch thick, with the canvas being secured to the back rather than the sides of those bars.
All orders ship with UPS, FedEx or DHL and will arrive directly to your home or office. A tracking number will be emailed to you as soon as the order leaves our studio so you can track it online. All orders ship express and usually arrive within 4-5 days from the shipping date. Due to shipping restraints, many of our framed, stretched, and oversize paintings may take 6-21 days for arrival depending on the safest route determined by the postal service.