Myan-Oung, from the Steamer
Artist: Grant, Colesworthy (1813-1880)
Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink
Watercolour with pen and ink of a view of Myanaung as seen from the steamer from 'A Series of Views in Burmah taken during Major Phayre’s Mission to the Court of Ava in 1855' by Colesworthy Grant. This album consists of 106 landscapes and portraits of Burmese and Europeans documenting the British embassy to the Burmese King, Mindon Min (r.1853-1878).
The mission took place after the Second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852 and the annexation by the British of the Burmese province of Pegu (Bago). It was despatched by the Governor-General of India Lord Dalhousie on the instructions of the East India Company, to attempt to persuade King Mindon to sign a treaty formally acknowledging the extension of British rule over the province. The mission started out from Rangoon and travelled up the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) to the royal capital at Amarapura. Grant (1813-1880) was sent as the official artist of the mission. In recognition of his skill, he was presented with a gold cup and ruby ring by the Burmese King.
Grant described this image as follows: 'At Myan-Oung, which is another day's steam journey from Henzidah, and on the same (the western) side of the river, are cantonments for the Pegue Light-Infantry, a body of men raised and organized by Major Nutall...the town portion of this station, which is to the south or left of the locality represented in the drawing, is characterized by a greater collection of old Pagodas and other religious edifices, than had yet been seen in progress of journeying up the river...Besides the distant view of the Arracan range of hills, which here becomes very positive and clear, the borders of the river, after leaving Myan Oung, rise into picturesque elevations, the summit of the principal one of which, forming a commanding point of the river, was selected by the Burmese, during the last war, for the erection of a powerful battery of guns, with which it was intended to intercept the passage of the English war steamers. The design was frustrated, however, by Captain Tarleton taking his boats another route, up one of the broad creeks, which, by a circuit of about a mile, avoided the hill, and joined the Irrawaddy higher up. The country continues elevated, and to increase in attractiveness as it approaches Prome.'