Panoramic view of Umeerapoora. Looking S.W.
Artist: Grant, Colesworthy (1813-1880)
Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink
Watercolour in pen and ink of a panoramic view of Amarapura looking towards the south-west 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 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.
Grant wrote that: “A tour with Mr. Spears through the city in search of a favorable elevation from whence to secure a panoramic view of the capital, resulted in selection of the residence of General D’Orgoni, who politely afforded every facility for the object. This house is situated not within the enclosed city, but in that part or street of the suburb which lies westerly between the city wall and the river, called the Yattan...The ornamented brick building on the right is a Mohummudan [Muslim] mosque, a description of edifice of which there are many exceedingly pretty specimens in various parts of Umeerapoora. The ordinary brick houses observed in the street running through the centre of this view, are occupied - some by Burmese, and others by native-born Mohummudans...The tall posts observable near a group of Pagodas on the left, and which are surmounted by the ‘Henza’, or sacred goose, peacock, duck, or kite, (for to which of these birds it is really a-kin seems matter of some doubt) are termed ‘Tagoon-dyn’. The erection of these posts is considered an act of devotional piety. Upon the opposite or western shore are seen the Sagàin hills, studded throughout their length with white pagodas...Between Sagàin and the opposite shore may be observed the Mission steamers at anchor; it having been necessary, consequent on the rapid falling of the river, to send them down below the city to a sufficiently deep and secure channel.'