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Mutineers about to be blown from guns by the Bengal Horse Artillery, 1858

March 4, 1858
National Army Museum
Humayun II 1858-1877



Watercolour by Orlando Norie (1832-1901), 1858 (c).

Blowing from guns was not a punishment invented by the British. It had been the recognized penalty for mutiny and rebellion from seventeenth century Mughal India onwards, and was employed on a number of occasions in the suppression of the Indian Mutiny (1857-1859). 'Blowing away' was an extreme statement of violence which served as the ultimate sanction of imperial rule, the bodies of the victims being effaced, and the onlookers spattered with blood and gobbets of flesh. Sparingly used, its purpose was to strike terror in the minds of the ruled.

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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.


The Mughal Images immediately took a much greater interest in realistic portraiture than was typical of Persian miniatures. Animals and plants were the main subject of many miniatures for albums and were more realistically depicted. To upload your images click here.

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