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On the death of Queen Victoria in January 1901, Lord Curzon, who was then Viceroy of India, placed before the public the question of setting up a fitting memorial to the Queen. He suggested that the most suitable memorial would be a "stately", spacious, monumental and grand building surrounded by an exquisite garden.This was to be a historical museum where people could see before them pictures and statues of men who played a prominent part in the history of this country and develop a pride in their past building, while the work of construction was entrusted to Messrs. Martin & Co. of Calcutta. Vincent J. Esch was the superintending architect. The total cost of construction of this monument amounted to one crore, five lakhs of rupees, and was entirely derived from their "voluntary" subscriptions. Sir William Emerson, President of the British Institute of Architects, designed and drew up the plan of this history.
36 year old Thomas Daniell and his nephew William, aged 16, sailed out from Gravesend in April 1785, destined for the East where they were to spend the next eight years. Of humble origins, they arrived in Calcutta via China early in seventeen eighty-six, looking for wealthy patrons, and to explore the sublime, the exotic and the picturesque country. The Victoria Memorial has the largest collection of the works by the two Daniells.

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Additional Photos by Arunava Ghose (Highmountains) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 278 W: 38 N: 570] (2255)
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