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Robert Clive and Mir Jafar after the Battle of Plassey, 1757

4 of 29 portraits on display in Room 14 at the National Portrait Gallery

Robert Clive and Mir Jafar after the Battle of Plassey, 1757, by Francis Hayman, circa 1760 - NPG 5263 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Robert Clive and Mir Jafar after the Battle of Plassey, 1757

by Francis Hayman
oil on canvas, circa 1760
39 1/2 in. x 50 in. (1003 mm x 1270 mm)
Purchased with help from The Art Fund, 1979
Primary Collection
NPG 5263


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Sittersback to top

Artistback to top

  • Francis Hayman (1707 or 1708-1776), Painter. Artist associated with 13 portraits, Sitter in 6 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This is a preliminary design for a much larger painting, now lost, which was one of the patriotic history paintings placed on display at Vauxhall Gardens in 1762 during the seven years' war with France. It was made by Francis Hayman and recreates the meeting between Robert Clive and Mir Jafar. Robert Clive's victory at Plassey in 1757 was decisive in establishing British rule in Bengal and confirmed his own reputation as a great military leader. Mir Jafar, one of the defeated Nawab's generals, allied his troops to Clive and was appointed Nawab of Bengal in return for his support. Although one of the first artists to exploit Anglo-Indian subject matter, Hayman never visited the country and this may account for his awkward rendering of the elephant.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Audio Guide
  • Bayly, Christopher, The Raj: India and the British 1600-1947, 1990 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 19 October 1990 - 17 March 1991), p. 99
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 723

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