View in Kyouk Taloung; looking over the River
Artist: Grant, Colesworthy (1813-1880)
Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink
Watercolour in pen and ink of a view of pagodas on a hill next to the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River at Kyouktaloung 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 is made up 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. 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) River to the royal capital at Amarapura. Grant was the official artist on the mission. In recognition of his skill, he was presented with a gold cup and ruby ring by the Burmese King.
Grant wrote that the scene was: 'Taken from the rear of the town, the front and river view of which, covering the brow of an eminence, had whilst steaming past, elicited the greatest admiration. A considerable collection of pagodas, and other religious edifices, rearing their white spires and golden tees above the rich and varied vegetation around them, were over-topped by a remarkably graceful and towering tree of the richest and lightest of green, which seemed to mark and to crown the very centre of the high ground on which the buildings were clustered. The northern end of this elevated ground may be observed cut down and faced with brickwork, in which mysterious looking cave-like entrances are seen. These were understood to be the residences of some of the monastic body...This sketch was taken under the shadow of a ruined pagoda, on a rising bit of land, which was so fenced about with briers and thorns as to be difficult of approach.'