During the height of the romantic movement, many European professional artists came to India in search of the picturesque. They also felt that India was a growing market for commissions of portraits, landscapes and architectural views. Thomas Daniell and his nephew and assistant William Daniell came to India in the last quarter of the 18th century. Between 1788 and 1791, they travelled widely through north India, painting oils and watercolours. Thomas Daniell was particularly proficient in handling the two media. This view of the city of Benares from the river with its open sky and, what must have seemed to the artist an exotic skyline is an impressive image from the late 18th century.