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LOT 5‡*

Krishnagiri Fort, Tamil Nadu, South India

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PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

Pencil and watercolour on paper
14 7/8 × 21 in. (37.8 × 53.4 cm.)

Inscribed and numbered ‘162. (crossed out) top of Krishnaghirry / taken on the top of Kishnaghirry / near the magazine’ on reverse

PROVENANCE:
Formerly the property of The P&O Steam Navigation Co.

EXHIBITED:
Commonwealth Institute, 1960, no. 90.
Smithsonian Institution, 1962, no. 46.
Spink, 1974, no. 71.

Of the great European artists working in India in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was undoubtedly the Daniells, Thomas and his nephew William, who played a pre-eminent role in recording and documenting the country for European eyes. The aquatints of India by the Daniells have been continuously popular ever since their publication between 1795 and 1810. The British serving in India purchased them for their libraries or framed them for their houses, offices and clubs. In the early 19th century, collectors eagerly acquired them as a celebration of the ‘sublime’, the ‘picturesque’ and the exotic as well as to record many of the recently documented heritage sites of India.

Other artists, notably William Hodges (1744–1797), who made a tour of the Ganges in 1780 - 1783, provided inspiration for the Daniells, and in 1786 they set off from England to make their fortune in India. In the six years they spent in India, they ventured further than any previous European artists, completing three tours around the country; along the Ganges from Kolkata (then Calcutta) to Srinagar, 1788 - 1791, a tour from Chennai (then Madras), 1792 - 1793, and finally, before their return to England in 1793, a tour of the temple sites in and around Mumbai (then Bombay). The current lot depicts a view of the Krishnagiri Fort, painted during their South India tour.

In the spring of 1792, the Daniells left Calcutta by boat for Madras, and they spent the rest of that year in the south of the sub-continent. The area had been made topical for British audiences by the recent string of Mysore wars. William Hodges had been prevented from exploring the interior because of the outbreak of the second Mysore War in 1780, but the Daniells were more fortunate, since their arrival coincided with the end of the third war. These protracted hostilities between the British and the Sultans of Mysore were not to be fully resolved until the final defeat and death of Tipu Sultan at the Battle of Seringapatam in 1799, but the Daniells were able to take advantage of a lull in the fighting as the Governor General, Lord Cornwallis, had arranged a temporary truce, involving the surrender of two of Tipu’s sons as hostages. In the first part of their tour, their attention was focused particularly on the hill forts, in the country to the south-east of Bangalore, which had been used by Tipu’s forces. Conditions in this region were still very unsettled, with remnants of Tipu’s army roaming about, and they even encountered some of Tipu’s men ransacking the grain stores at Verapadurg and Krishnagiri.

‘During May the artists were moving through the dramatic hilly country South of Bangalore, visiting the various hill forts where Tipu’s soldiers had held out against the British. Going south they visited Hosur, which commanded the northernmost end of the pass used by Cornwallis for his supply route. They took a sepoy with them as some of Tipu’s men were still lurking in the area. The forts of Anchetti, Naldurgum, Huriya, Chinna Raidurga and Rayakottai were visited in turn, as well as Verapadurg, Krishnagiri and Jagdeo. The Daniells could not fail to be impressed by the vast rocks which appeared unscalable. The whole area was wonderfully picturesque.’ (Mildred Archer, Early Views of India, the Picturesque Journeys of Thomas and William Daniell, 1786 -1794, New York, 1980, p. 142)

*NATIONAL ART TREASURE - NON-EXPORTABLE ITEM (Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Sale at the back of the catalogue)

‡ REGISTERED ANTIQUITY - NON-EXPORTABLE ITEM (Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Sale at the back of the catalogue)
Condition: The paper tones of the original are slightly creamier and less saturated than the catalogue illustration and appear to have discoloured slightly with age. Minor spots of staining and foxing visible, especially on the upper portion of the work, partially visible in the catalogue illustration. Minor vertical stain along the lower right corner, partially visible in the catalogue illustration. Minor vertical crease visible along the lower edge. A further minor horizontal crease visible above the central rock. Two minor spots of white pigment visible in the upper right and upper left corners of the sky, partially visible in the catalogue illustration. Not examined out of frame. Overall good condition.

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Time, Location
25 Apr 2024
India, Mumbai
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[ translate ]

PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

Pencil and watercolour on paper
14 7/8 × 21 in. (37.8 × 53.4 cm.)

Inscribed and numbered ‘162. (crossed out) top of Krishnaghirry / taken on the top of Kishnaghirry / near the magazine’ on reverse

PROVENANCE:
Formerly the property of The P&O Steam Navigation Co.

EXHIBITED:
Commonwealth Institute, 1960, no. 90.
Smithsonian Institution, 1962, no. 46.
Spink, 1974, no. 71.

Of the great European artists working in India in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was undoubtedly the Daniells, Thomas and his nephew William, who played a pre-eminent role in recording and documenting the country for European eyes. The aquatints of India by the Daniells have been continuously popular ever since their publication between 1795 and 1810. The British serving in India purchased them for their libraries or framed them for their houses, offices and clubs. In the early 19th century, collectors eagerly acquired them as a celebration of the ‘sublime’, the ‘picturesque’ and the exotic as well as to record many of the recently documented heritage sites of India.

Other artists, notably William Hodges (1744–1797), who made a tour of the Ganges in 1780 - 1783, provided inspiration for the Daniells, and in 1786 they set off from England to make their fortune in India. In the six years they spent in India, they ventured further than any previous European artists, completing three tours around the country; along the Ganges from Kolkata (then Calcutta) to Srinagar, 1788 - 1791, a tour from Chennai (then Madras), 1792 - 1793, and finally, before their return to England in 1793, a tour of the temple sites in and around Mumbai (then Bombay). The current lot depicts a view of the Krishnagiri Fort, painted during their South India tour.

In the spring of 1792, the Daniells left Calcutta by boat for Madras, and they spent the rest of that year in the south of the sub-continent. The area had been made topical for British audiences by the recent string of Mysore wars. William Hodges had been prevented from exploring the interior because of the outbreak of the second Mysore War in 1780, but the Daniells were more fortunate, since their arrival coincided with the end of the third war. These protracted hostilities between the British and the Sultans of Mysore were not to be fully resolved until the final defeat and death of Tipu Sultan at the Battle of Seringapatam in 1799, but the Daniells were able to take advantage of a lull in the fighting as the Governor General, Lord Cornwallis, had arranged a temporary truce, involving the surrender of two of Tipu’s sons as hostages. In the first part of their tour, their attention was focused particularly on the hill forts, in the country to the south-east of Bangalore, which had been used by Tipu’s forces. Conditions in this region were still very unsettled, with remnants of Tipu’s army roaming about, and they even encountered some of Tipu’s men ransacking the grain stores at Verapadurg and Krishnagiri.

‘During May the artists were moving through the dramatic hilly country South of Bangalore, visiting the various hill forts where Tipu’s soldiers had held out against the British. Going south they visited Hosur, which commanded the northernmost end of the pass used by Cornwallis for his supply route. They took a sepoy with them as some of Tipu’s men were still lurking in the area. The forts of Anchetti, Naldurgum, Huriya, Chinna Raidurga and Rayakottai were visited in turn, as well as Verapadurg, Krishnagiri and Jagdeo. The Daniells could not fail to be impressed by the vast rocks which appeared unscalable. The whole area was wonderfully picturesque.’ (Mildred Archer, Early Views of India, the Picturesque Journeys of Thomas and William Daniell, 1786 -1794, New York, 1980, p. 142)

*NATIONAL ART TREASURE - NON-EXPORTABLE ITEM (Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Sale at the back of the catalogue)

‡ REGISTERED ANTIQUITY - NON-EXPORTABLE ITEM (Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Sale at the back of the catalogue)
Condition: The paper tones of the original are slightly creamier and less saturated than the catalogue illustration and appear to have discoloured slightly with age. Minor spots of staining and foxing visible, especially on the upper portion of the work, partially visible in the catalogue illustration. Minor vertical stain along the lower right corner, partially visible in the catalogue illustration. Minor vertical crease visible along the lower edge. A further minor horizontal crease visible above the central rock. Two minor spots of white pigment visible in the upper right and upper left corners of the sky, partially visible in the catalogue illustration. Not examined out of frame. Overall good condition.

[ translate ]
Sale price
Unlock
Estimate
Unlock
Reserve
Unlock
Time, Location
25 Apr 2024
India, Mumbai
Auction House
Unlock