In what way did the British history paintings in India reflect the attitudes of imperial conquerors?
Imperial history paintings were an attempt to create a public memory of imperial triumphs. Victory was a thing which should be implanted in public memory; both Indian and British. Such paintings were used as tools to showcase the British as invincible and all powerful. British considered themselves superior to the Indian on every filed. The entire British history of paintings in India is a living proof of it. It reflects their attitudes of colonial and imperial conquests. The scenes in paintings were highly dramatized British soldiers were shown as destroying everything which represented India.
These paintings celebrated the British power, their victories, and their supremacy. British victories in India served as rich material for history painters in British. These printers drew on first hand sketches and accounts of travelers to depict for the British public a favorable image of British actions in India.
In the painting by Hayman, the British had just defeated Sirajuddaulah in the famous Battle of Plassey and installed Mir Jafar as the Nawab of Murshidabad. In this act of aggression and conquest is not depicted. It shows Lord Clive being welcomed by Mir Jafar and his troops after the Battle of Plassey.