Germans in 18th Century India: A Social History of Everyday Life (Program and Abstracts)

Workshop Program

The work­shop pro­gram can be down­loa­ded as PDF file here.

December 12.–13. 2019
Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS)
Board Room (2nd Floor, Room 2.112)
Waldweg 26, 37073 Universität Göttingen


Thursday, 12.12.2019

11:00–11:30 am

Wel­co­me and intro­duc­tion
Ravi Ahu­ja, Micha­el Mann, Tobi­as Delfs

11:30–12:30 am

Indian socie­ty in the 18th cen­tu­ry through a Ger­man lens
Chen Tzo­ref-Ash­ken­azi, Berlin

12:30 am


Career as a motivation for European Migration to India?

1:30–2:30 pm

Moti­va­tions to migra­te: Halle‘s Tran­que­bar mis­sio­na­ries
Tobi­as Delfs, Berlin

2:30–3:30 pm

Ger­man sol­di­ers ser­ving in Afri­ca and Asia c. 1750–1810
Micha­el Mann, Berlin

3:30 pm

Cof­fee & tea

4:00–5:00 pm

Ger­mans and the slave tra­de: the case of the Dut­ch East India Com­pa­ny in India
Mat­thi­as van Rossum/Alexander Geelen, Amsterdam

6:00–7:00 pm

Book pre­sen­ta­ti­on: Ravi Ahuja/Martin Chris­toph-Füchs­le (eds.): A Gre­at War in South India. Ger­man Accounts of the Anglo-Mys­o­re Wars, 1766–1799. Ber­lin: De Gruy­ter, 2019
Loca­ti­on: KWZ 0.602, Hein­rich-Düker-Weg 14, 37073 Göttingen

8:00 pm


Friday, 13.12.2019

Worldviews and life circles in India

9:45 am

Cof­fee & tea

10:00–11:00 am

Ger­man Jesuits in Ambal­akad: An examp­le of catho­lic mis­si­on in the 18th cen­tu­ry
Julia Leder­le-Wintgens, Düsseldorf

11:00–12:00 pm

Aspects and Pro­spects of Death
Key­van Dja­han­gi­ri, Berlin

12:00–1:00 pm

Gen­der, cas­te and genera­ti­on: Local women and child­ren wit­hin the Danish-Hal­le mis­si­on in South India (1706–1845)
Hei­ke Lie­bau, Berlin

12:30 pm


Careers of physicians, craftsmen and Artists

2:00–3:00 pm


Incon­spi­cuous colo­ni­zers: Ger­man phy­si­ci­ans in the 18th Cen­tu­ry Danish East Indies and bey­ond
Niklas Tho­de Jen­sen, Copenhagen

3:00–4:00 pm

Mora­vi­an craft­s­men and their pro­fes­sio­nal enga­ge­ment in the natu­ral histo­ry of India
Tho­mas Ruh­land, Halle

4:00–5:00 pm

Ger­man and North Euro­pean pain­ters in India: Carl von Imhoff, Johann Zoff­a­ny and Peter Anker. Care­er stra­te­gy and artis­tic pas­si­on
Mar­tin Krie­ger, Kiel

Workshop Abstracts

The work­shop abs­tracts can be down­loa­ded as PDF file here.

Germans in 18th Century India: A Social History of Everyday Life

Ger­mans were alrea­dy invol­ved in the Euro­pean colo­ni­al 15th and 16th cen­tu­ry expan­si­on into Asia: tra­ding com­pa­nies such as the Wel­ser and Fug­ger sup­por­ted the Por­tu­gue­se finan­cial­ly and from 1502/03 onwards, Ger­mans took a part in it direct­ly. With the emer­gence of the various East India com­pa­nies, this deve­lo­p­ment inten­si­fied, and it was in the 18th cen­tu­ry that nume­rous Ger­mans moved to India. They did not only work as mer­chants, sol­di­ers or sailors, but also as mis­sio­na­ries, natu­ra­lists, craft­s­men, phar­macists, doc­tors or as painters–and even in the ser­vice of Indian prin­ces. The tran­si­ti­ons, howe­ver, could be flu­ent if, for instance, a  mis­sio­na­ry acted at the same time as a mer­chant, craft­s­man, tea­cher or natu­ral sci­en­tist, or if doc­tors, mis­sio­na­ries or phar­macists took up bota­ni­zing. The­re were also real sur­vi­vors with con­si­derable social mobi­li­ty, per­forming dif­fe­rent jobs at dif­fe­rent times.

The work­shop will com­pa­ra­tively address this pre­vious­ly neglec­ted diver­si­ty through group ana­ly­ses or case stu­dies. It will deal (1) with tra­vel moti­va­tions, with the pro­cess of recrui­t­ing in Euro­pe, with indi­vi­du­al images of India and the demand for cer­tain pro­fes­sio­nal groups. In addi­ti­on, it (2) will turn to the social stra­ti­fi­ca­ti­ons them­sel­ves. In this con­text, it will inves­ti­ga­te the ques­ti­on of dif­fe­ren­ces to Euro­pe and the repre­sen­ta­ti­on of dis­tinc­tions bet­ween pro­fes­sio­nal groups, clas­ses, “nati­ons” or with regard to the Indi­en popu­la­ti­on of the time. Fur­ther­mo­re, the work­shop (3) will shed a light on con­cre­te living con­di­ti­ons, sub­jec­ti­ve per­cep­ti­ons and expe­ri­en­ces in India and will com­pa­re the­se with the initi­al expec­tant atti­tu­de of a stay. Pos­si­ble topics would be respec­ti­ve forms of coping stra­te­gies of Ger­mans and other Euro­peans and their reac­tions to poli­ti­cal, eco­no­mic and social chan­ges and cata­stro­phes such as wars or fami­nes. All of this rai­ses the ques­ti­on of the extent to which Ger­man archi­ves and sources can widen the view of his­to­ri­ans dealing with the histo­ry of 18th cen­tu­ry India.

Indian society in the eighteenth century through a German lens

Chen Tzo­ref-Ash­ken­azi, Berlin

Peter Joseph du Plat was a young offi­cer sent to India with the 15th Hano­ve­r­i­an regi­ment in 1782 as part of the Hano­ve­r­i­an auxi­li­a­ry tro­ops in the second Anglo-Mys­o­re War. In March 1784 he wro­te a let­ter to a rela­ti­ve in Ger­ma­ny, who­se manu­script is loca­ted in two Ger­man archi­ves, in Hano­ver and Pots­dam. The let­ter nar­ra­tes the cour­se of the mili­ta­ry events in which the Hano­ve­r­i­an expe­di­ti­on par­ti­ci­pa­ted and sup­plies a descrip­ti­on of the con­di­ti­ons under which the Hano­ve­r­i­an sol­di­ers lived in addi­ti­on to a short descrip­ti­on of Indian socie­ty. The manu­script is part of a signi­fi­cant cor­pus of ego-docu­ments by Hano­ve­r­i­an offi­cers, some of which were publis­hed at the time while others are kept in Ger­man archi­ves in manu­script form, that com­bi­ne nar­ra­ti­ons of mili­ta­ry events with descrip­ti­ons of Indian socie­ty. As the ana­ly­sis of the text will show, simi­lar to other Ger­man texts, du Plats under­stan­ding of Indian socie­ty was unsys­te­ma­tic, drawing on a com­bi­na­ti­on of noti­ons brought from Euro­pe, Bri­tish inter­pre­ta­ti­ons sup­plied by EIC and roy­al offi­cers who had come ear­lier to India, infor­ma­ti­on sup­plied by Ger­man mis­sio­na­ries, and his own per­so­nal expe­ri­ence. It is not easy to dis­tin­guish bet­ween the­se sources of influ­ence. The out­co­me, howe­ver, is mar­ked­ly dif­fe­rent from offi­cial Bri­tish repre­sen­ta­ti­ons of India. While obvious­ly writ­ten from a Euro­pean per­spec­ti­ve, it does not always lend its­elf to the ser­vice of a colo­ni­al ideo­lo­gy. On the other hand, it is equal­ly impos­si­ble to speak of a uni­fied Ger­man per­spec­ti­ve. The texts writ­ten by Hano­ve­r­i­an offi­cers reflect a varie­ty of indi­vi­du­al per­spec­ti­ves that are not always easi­ly dis­tin­guis­ha­ble from simi­lar Bri­tish texts that did not ser­ve expli­cit offi­cial or ideo­lo­gi­cal pur­po­ses. It is, howe­ver, jus­ti­fied to con­si­der the Ger­man texts, both by offi­cers and by mis­sio­na­ries, as out­si­ders’ per­spec­ti­ves, becau­se their aut­hors did not, or only par­ti­al­ly belon­ged to the colo­ni­al estab­lish­ment, and felt much less com­mit­ted to its cau­se than Bri­tish aut­hors usual­ly did. As such, they enrich our under­stan­ding of Euro­pean per­cep­ti­ons of and respon­ses to Indian socie­ty bey­ond the much more often used reser­voir of Bri­tish texts.

Motivations to migrate: Halle’s Tranquebar Missionaries

Tobi­as Delfs, Berlin

Mis­sio­na­ries play­ed a signi­fi­cant role in the Euro­pean colo­ni­al expan­si­on. In the case of eigh­te­enth cen­tu­ry India, it was main­ly the mis­sio­na­ries of the Danish-Eng­lish-Hal­le mis­si­on, most of whom came from Ger­ma­ny and whe­re cho­sen by the Francke Foun­da­ti­ons in Hal­le. While abo­ve all the older mis­sio­na­ry his­to­rio­gra­phy often por­tray­ed them as being dri­ven sole­ly by mis­sio­na­ry zeal, this paper ques­ti­ons such an assump­ti­on. It will exami­ne pos­si­ble fur­ther moti­va­tions of the can­di­da­tes. On the basis of their per­so­nal histo­ry, their app­li­ca­ti­on docu­ments, the inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on in the mis­si­on cen­tres, bet­ween the mis­sio­na­ries them­sel­ves and bet­ween the mis­sio­na­ries and the cen­tres, it is exami­ned whe­ther spe­ci­fic images of India, care­er aspi­ra­ti­ons, lacking care­er pro­spects or con­cre­te pro­blems in Euro­pe could be signi­fi­cant moti­ves for the app­li­ca­ti­on. The paper loo­ks at accep­ted as well as rejec­ted can­di­da­tes, the mis­si­on head­quar­ters’ rea­sons for accep­t­ance and rejec­tion, as well as the dis­crepan­ci­es bet­ween mis­sio­na­ry expec­ta­ti­ons and expe­ri­en­ces in India.

German soldiers serving in Africa and Asia c. 1750–1820

Micha­el Mann, Berlin

Sol­di­ers recrui­ted from cen­tral Euro­pean coun­tries, or Deutsch­land, as con­tem­pora­ries cal­led the regi­on, were part of a pan-Euro­pean labour mar­ket in the long eigh­te­enth cen­tu­ry. In the ear­ly modern peri­od Ger­man sol­di­ers ser­ved in the armies of Euro­pean mon­archs and trans­con­ti­nental­ly ope­ra­ting tra­ding com­pa­nies such as the Veree­nig­de Oost­in­di­sche Com­pa­gnie (VOC) and the East India Com­pa­ny (EIC). In addi­ti­on, Ger­man prin­ces hired out their armies or parts of their tro­ops to crea­te addi­tio­nal inco­me and to par­ti­ci­pa­te in Euro­pean poli­tics. In the second half of the eigh­te­enth cen­tu­ry, wes­tern Euro­pean con­ti­nen­tal and inter­con­ti­nen­tal colo­ni­al war­fa­re in Ame­ri­ca, Afri­ca and Asia cau­sed a huge demand for addi­tio­nal tro­ops. Many of them were recrui­ted on the Ger­man labour mar­kets. The paper will ask in how far beco­m­ing a sol­dier, whe­ther ser­ving in or out­side Euro­pe, was one of the many opti­ons men of dif­fe­rent social back­grounds had try­ing to over­co­me dire eco­no­mic con­di­ti­ons (pau­peri­sa­ti­on) in Ger­ma­ny. The paper will also ask whe­ther beco­m­ing a sol­dier was part of a labour mar­ket based on various forms of depen­dent labour, be that slavery, serf­dom, ser­vitu­de, or sol­die­ry. Like sevitu­de, for examp­le, pre­cur­sor of inden­tu­red labour sys­tems of the nine­teenth cen­tu­ry, the labour of com­mon sol­di­ers was orga­nis­ed through con­tracts fixing terms of ser­vice inclu­ding pay, dura­ti­on and working conditions.

Germans and the slave trade: the case of the Dutch East India Company in India

Alex­an­der Geelen and Mat­thi­as van Ros­sum, Amsterdam

This paper will explo­re the role and par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on in the slave tra­de by Ger­mans in the ser­vice of the Dut­ch East India Com­pa­ny. Slavery and slave tra­de was widespread throughout the VOC-empi­re, lea­ding to the coer­ced cir­cu­la­ti­on of ens­laved peop­le from South Asia, Sou­the­ast Asia, East Afri­ca and Mada­gas­car to and from dif­fe­rent VOC-sett­le­ments. The Com­pa­ny was hea­vi­ly invol­ved in orga­ni­zing the insti­tu­ti­on of slavery, and regu­la­ting and admi­nis­tra­ting the slave tra­de. Alt­hough the VOC also owned and trans­por­ted slaves, most slave tra­de was under­ta­ken by the Euro­pean, Asi­an and Eura­si­an sub­jects and per­son­nel of the Com­pa­ny. Employees from Ger­man spea­king regi­ons were recrui­ted, and clim­bed, in important num­bers into the lower and midd­le ranks of the VOC. The­re they worked as sol­di­ers, sailors, wri­ters, mer­chants and even mining spe­cia­lists. This paper explo­res the par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on in the slave tra­de by the­se Ger­man VOC-employees working in the VOC-sett­le­ments on the Mala­bar coast, espe­cial­ly Cochin (pre­sent-day Kochi, Kera­la). This paper will use data­ba­ses of slave tran­sac­tions (Acten van Trans­port) and per­mits for export (Per­mis­sies) pre­ser­ved for eigh­te­enth cen­tu­ry Cochin in the VOC-archi­ves, and will con­tex­tua­li­ze its fin­dings with infor­ma­ti­on in court records, per­son­nel admi­nis­tra­ti­on, tes­ti­mo­nies, and other sources. Explo­ring the slave tra­de and con­nec­tions of Ger­man Com­pa­ny per­son­nel in India can help fur­ther unco­ver the over­seas expe­ri­ence of this often over­loo­ked group.

German Jesuits in Ambalakad: An example of Catholic mission in 18th century Southern India

Julia Leder­le-Wintgens, Düsseldorf

In their world-wide acti­vi­ties, the Jesu­it order that was foun­ded in 1540 soon beca­me influ­en­ti­al and power­ful. Being a per­fect­ly lin­ked and high­ly mobi­le order, the Jesuits were able to build a uni­que net­work of com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on and trans­fer. In India, the Socie­ty of Jesus reli­ed on its exclu­si­ve rela­ti­ons­hip with the Por­tu­gue­se crown for a long time. By the eigh­te­enth cen­tu­ry, howe­ver, Por­tu­gal was not able to pro­tect and sup­port the Jesu­it mis­si­on sta­ti­ons out­side of Goa any­mo­re. Accord­in­gly, the domi­nan­ce of Por­tu­gue­se mem­bers wit­hin the order dimi­nis­hed, too. In this con­text, the Col­le­gi­um Maxi­mum of Ambal­akad beca­me an inte­res­ting, but neglec­ted, case of Jesu­it acting in Sou­thern India. A small group of mixed Euro­pean Jesuits tried to beco­me influ­en­ti­al inter­me­di­a­ries. Focu­sing on the role of the Ger­man Jesuits of Ambal­akad may illu­mi­na­te the­se new ways of Jesu­it mis­si­on in eigh­te­enth cen­tu­ry India.

Aspects and Prospects of Death

Key­van Dja­han­gi­ri, Berlin

The Lutheran Mission’s pre­sence at the Danish sea­port of Tha­r­an­gam­ba­di in today’s Tamil Nadu Sta­te is wide­ly known and well-stu­di­ed. Howe­ver, regu­lar­ly occur­ring but mar­gi­nal­ly stu­di­ed social life phe­no­me­na, such as the dealing with death and dying, bid us to revi­sit source docu­ments and dig for hid­den pat­terns and buried pro­ce­du­res of ever­y­day life histo­ry. The paper’s lea­ding ques­ti­on, the­re­fo­re, is what All­tags­ge­schich­te can and can­not tell us about dif­fe­rent cul­tures coha­bi­t­ing and inter­ac­ting over a long peri­od, such as the eigh­te­enth-cen­tu­ry mul­ti-laye­red South Asi­an power shifts. Natu­ral­ly, the ques­ti­on also addres­ses the pos­si­bi­li­ties and limi­ta­ti­ons of mis­sio­na­ry reports. Dig­ging into the men­tio­ned sources the paper seeks to test two hypo­the­ses: (1) Fun­e­rals as a cul­tu­ral prac­ti­ce crea­te iden­ti­ty and a sen­se of pur­po­se. As with all cul­tu­ral and social prac­ti­ces, the awa­reness of their indis­pensa­bi­li­ty and the con­vic­tion for their performance’s neces­si­ty are extra­or­di­na­ri­ly streng­t­he­ned, when they are to be pre­ser­ved in a for­eign, inse­cu­re or even hos­ti­le envi­ron­ment. The same app­lies if cul­tu­ral prac­ti­ces pre­ser­ve and ser­ve to deli­mi­ta­te and safe­guard the own com­mu­ni­ty against other cul­tures and reli­gi­ons. (2) Fun­e­ral ritu­als are a con­ve­ni­ent and cohe­si­ve instru­ment of demons­tra­ting and disci­pli­ning oneself (in front of others) – con­si­de­ring in par­ti­cu­lar its refe­rence to after­li­fe and the fact that a cul­tu­ral trans­fer of the­se prac­ti­ces is inten­ded or takes place.

Gender, Caste and Generation: Local Women and Children within the Danish-Halle Mission in South India (1706–1845)

Hei­ke Lie­bau, Berlin

When we explo­re the day-to-day prac­ti­ces at Chris­ti­an mis­si­on sta­ti­ons, fami­ly life can­not be igno­red. Alt­hough Mis­si­on histo­ry has tur­ned towards social histo­ry, inclu­ding fami­ly histo­ry, rese­arch so far has most­ly focu­sed on the life of European/American women with regard to the suc­cess of the mis­si­on and their social role wit­hin. Aut­hors aim at chal­len­ging the noti­on of the mar­gi­na­li­ty of women arguing against redu­cing their role to loving wives, caring mothers and friend­ly tea­chers. In con­trast, my paper draws atten­ti­on to local women and child­ren of local mis­si­on workers in the con­text of the Danish-Hal­le Mis­si­on in the 18th, ear­ly 19th cen­tu­ry. It explo­res social struc­tures wit­hin the mis­si­on con­text, such as: a) the pro­fes­sio­nal posi­ti­ons of local women (as domestic ser­vants; bible women, tea­chers, or cate­chists), b) their posi­ti­on wit­hin the fami­ly, inclu­ding their role as wives or widows of local male mis­si­on workers (co-working with their part­ners; con­ti­nuing the work after their hus­bands´ death) and c) laws and regu­la­ti­ons for fema­le mis­si­on workers (pay­ment, widow sup­port). With regard to local child­ren, espe­cial­ly child­ren of local mis­si­on workers, I will explo­re the impor­t­ance of inter-mis­si­on mar­ria­ges and the pro­mo­ti­on of “pro­mi­sing” child­ren through a spe­cial sys­tem of spon­sor­s­hip. Con­cep­tual­ly, I will situa­te my obser­va­tions wit­hin broa­der deba­tes on gen­der, cas­te and generation.

Inconspicuous Colonizers: German physicians in the 18th century Danish East Indies and beyond

Niklas Tho­de Jen­sen, Copenhagen

For Euro­peans tra­vel­ling to and living in 18th cen­tu­ry India, the risk of fatal dise­a­se was a fun­da­men­tal part of ever­y­day life. Con­se­quent­ly, Euro­pean tra­ding com­pa­nies and colo­ni­al powers employ­ed sur­ge­ons and doc­tors to take care of their staff on board the ships bound for the East and in their colo­nies. In the Danish East India Com­pa­nies and roy­al admi­nis­tra­ti­on of the East Indies, the majo­ri­ty of the phy­si­ci­ans were Ger­mans. Fur­ther­mo­re, the mis­si­on doc­tors of the Danish-Hal­le mis­si­on and Mora­vi­an mis­si­on in Tran­que­bar were also Ger­mans. In the pre­sen­ta­ti­on, I will focus on this group of Ger­man phy­si­ci­ans in Danish ser­vice in India and bey­ond. Sin­ce they have never been stu­di­ed as a group, I will begin with a sur­vey of their ori­gins, care­er paths etc. to iden­ti­fy com­mon pat­ters and cha­rac­te­ris­tics. On this basis, I will inves­ti­ga­te two case stu­dies that demons­tra­te some of the chal­len­ges faced by this group and their stra­te­gies for coping with them. The first case is Samu­el Ben­ja­min Knoll (1705–67, in India 1732–67), doc­tor of the Danish-Hal­le mis­si­on in Tran­que­bar. A clo­ser stu­dy of his life and work reve­als the dif­fi­cul­ties of making a living as a phy­si­ci­an in colo­ni­al India and pro­blems of pro­fes­sio­nal rival­ry bet­ween Euro­pean and Indian doc­tors. The second case is Johann Ger­hard König (1728–85, in India 1768–85), doc­tor of the Danish-Hal­le Mis­si­on in Tran­que­bar, Roy­al Danish bota­ni­cal collec­tor and later natu­ral histo­ry collec­tor for the Nawab of Arcot and the Bri­tish East India Com­pa­ny. König’s life reve­als the impor­t­ance of net­works, mobi­li­ty and being a ‘neu­tral for­eig­ner’ in colo­ni­al India.

Moravian craftsmen and their professional engagement in the natural history of India

Tho­mas Ruh­land, Halle

The various forms of mis­sio­na­ry acti­vi­ty in India dif­fe­red from one ano­t­her not only accord­ing to the con­fes­si­on and the poli­ti­cal alle­gi­an­ces of the mis­sio­na­ries and their wives and child­ren, but also in the ways in which mis­sio­na­ry com­mu­nities were finan­ced. Mem­bers of the Mora­vi­an South Asia Mis­si­on (1760–1802), for examp­le, unli­ke the Jesuits or the mem­bers of the Danish-Eng­lish-Hal­le Mis­si­on, for the most part nee­ded to cover their own living expen­ses by them­sel­ves. In doing so, they reli­ed not only on agri­cul­tu­ral and craft­s­men skills and on their craft­s­men skills, but also on an exten­si­ve tra­de in natu­ral spe­ci­mens such as plants, shells, crabs, and rep­ti­les. The­se natu­ral objects were pre­pa­red and con­ser­ved in a varie­ty of ways and were then made avail­ab­le for sale wit­hin India and in Euro­pe. For some time, this acti­vi­ty could ensu­re the princi­pal source of inco­me for the “Brethren’s Gar­den” near Tran­que­bar and the mis­si­on on the Nico­bar Islands. In pro­du­cing the­se objects, the Mora­vi­an mis­sio­na­ries (usual­ly them­sel­ves craft­s­men such as cob­blers and car­pen­ters) worked clo­se­ly with nati­ve peop­le, who ser­ved as infor­mants and hel­pers in the pro­ces­sing and naming of the natu­ral spe­ci­mens. My pre­sen­ta­ti­on will exp­lain this prac­ti­ce, hither­to sel­dom explo­red in the mis­sio­na­ry con­text, and will cla­ri­fy the moti­ves behind the collec­tion of natu­ral objects as well as the pro­blems and other con­se­quen­ces. The­se inclu­ded the new­ly resul­ting oppor­tu­nities for Euro­peans and Indi­ge­nous to find employ­ment with the (Bri­tish) East India Com­pa­ny, as well as the effects on Indian employees of the Mora­vi­ans such as Krish­na Pal, who, after working with the Mora­vi­an mis­sio­na­ries in the field of natu­ral histo­ry, beca­me the first con­vert of the Bap­tist Mis­sio­na­ry Socie­ty under W. Carey.

German and North European painters in India: Carl von Imhoff, Johann Zoffany and Peter Anker. Career strategy and artistic passion

Mar­tin Krie­ger, Kiel

During the lat­ter half of the eigh­te­enth cen­tu­ry, a colo­ni­al art-mar­ket emer­ged in India. Nota­b­ly Cal­cut­ta with its abundance of finan­cial wealth attrac­ted artists from Gre­at Bri­tain and bey­ond. The collec­tion of oil pain­tings and drawings pre­ser­ved insi­de the Vic­to­ria Memo­ri­al at Cal­cut­ta still bears wit­ness to this fact. A num­ber of Ger­man and North Euro­pean artists joi­ned this trend and estab­lis­hed their work­shops in India. The Ger­mans Carl von Imhoff and Johann Zoff­a­ny as well as the Nor­we­gi­an Peter Anker ren­der pro­mi­nent examp­les and will be stu­di­ed in detail here. Their social back­ground, edu­ca­ti­on and moti­va­ti­on for tra­vel­ling to India will be scru­ti­ni­zed. Fur­ther­mo­re, it will be asked: To what degree did their acti­vi­ties in India con­tri­bu­te to enhan­cing their care­ers? Imhoff’s, Zoffany’s and Anker’s artis­tic oeu­vre simul­ta­ne­ous­ly play­ed a role in crea­ting a dis­tinct image of India in Ger­ma­ny and Nort­hern Euro­pe. Against this back­drop, this paper will simul­ta­ne­ous­ly ask for their impact on shaping con­tem­pora­ry ide­as of India in Wei­mar, Copen­ha­gen and other cul­tu­ral centres.