Raja Jivan Ram
- Portrait of Francis Spencer Hawkins, of H.M.'s Bengal Indian Army
Oil on canvas
91.5 x 71 cms
Francis Spencer Hawkins was born into an Anglo-Indian military family; his father was Colonel Thomas Hawkins of His Majesty's Bengal Indian Army. Following in his father's footsteps, Hawkins entered the Bengal Army as an Ensign in 1815 aged of 17. He proved a capable and diligent officer, and he steadily rose within the echelons of the army, eventually attaining the rank of Colonel. He was twice married; firstly to Maria Loveday in 1823, with whom he had one daughter, and secondly to Emily Kellet of County Cork, with whom he had two children including a son, Francis Kellet Hawkins, who also joined the Bengal Army (ending his career as a Major-General).
The Bengal Indian Army, formed in 1765, was initially under the auspices of the powerful East India Company. In 1858, in part due to social and political upheavals between the military and the civilians, oversight of the army was transferred to the direct authority of the British Crown.
References: The Bengal and Agra Annual Guide and Gazetteer for 1841, p. 467.
Raja Jivan Ram (active 1821-1850) adopted a European style, due to demand from British expatriates as well as Indian nobles. It is thought that he was influenced by artists such as George Chinnery and Thomas Hickey. As well as portrait miniatures, he painted larger oils on canvas, one of which was sold by Indar Pasricha Fine Arts. See: www.indarpasricha.co.uk/archive
This painting was in our exhibition; OF FAR OFF LANDS AND PEOPLE - Paintings from India, Summer 1993
Others can be found in the collections of the British and Bodleian Libraries as well as the National Army Museum.