Umeerapoora, from the long wooden Bridge, crossing the Lake Toung-ummah
Artist: Grant, Colesworthy (1813-1880)
Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink
Watercolour in pen and ink of the long wooden Bridge crossing the Lake Toung-ummah from 'A Series of Views in Burmah taken during Major Phayre’s Mission to the Court of Ava in 1855' by Colesworthy Grant (1813-1880). 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 Amarapura, a royal city founded in 1782 on the east bank of the river. Amarapura remained the capital of the Konbaung dynasty kings until 1823, after which time the capital moved several times between Amarapura and nearby Ava. In the late 1850s, Mindon Min moved the capital to Mandalay. Grant, the official artist of the British mission in 1855, made a series of panoramic drawings of the city. The U Bein Bridge, situated to the south-east of the city, is the longest teak crossing in the world and measures 1.2 km.
Grant wrote that: 'The road to and from the city, during the rainy season, or time of the inundations, lays exclusively over this bridge, making the journey into the town between three and four miles. On the innundations subsiding, an old dilapidated, and hitherto submerged bridge of bricks, at the northern end of the lake, began to make its appearance, and in a short time afforded a rough and very muddy passage over to the north-east corner of the City. It was over the former, the wooden bridge, that, on the morning of the deputation, the Irregular Cavalry escort, and the horses intended as presents for the King, passed; when two of the latter taking fright, or a freak, fell or leaped into the lake, and had to swim to the opposite side...'