Sagain, and distant view of Ava, from the Sagain Hill
Artist: Grant, Colesworthy (1813-1880)
Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink
Watercolour with pen and ink of a view of Sagaing in Burma with Ava in the distance 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 started out from Rangoon (Yangon) and travelled up the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River to the royal capital of Amarapura, stopping at various places on the journey. It was despatched by the Governor-General of India Lord Dalhousie and headed by Arthur Phayre. 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 wrote that: 'the scene embraces a very distant view of Ava, or the site of that old capital, which may be known by a dim and minute cluster of pagodas on the opposite shore, near to the broad elbow of the over-flooded river, which at that point turns up towards the spectator and the present capital [Amarapura]. Directly opposite to Ava, lost to the eye amidst the woody expanse, is Sagain...The flight of steps, 275 in number, of which portions may be seen here and there on the right, with gigantic Lions at their base, is a portion of the wearisome ascent to the terrace of the Pagoda, perched on the pinnacle of the hill, probably 200 feet high, from the terrace of which these views were taken.'