Panoramic view of Umeerapoora. Looking N.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 north-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 from the residence of General D’Orgoni, a French adventurer, situated to the west of the walled citadel. The city was originally laid out on a square plan, with brick walls surrounded by a moat.
Grant wrote that: 'This view embraces a further part of the town on the river side, together with a continuation of the Sagain hills...The numerous green islands, with which the river is studded, are cultivated, and produce in great abundance a variety of vegetables for the Umeerapoora market...The very elegant and elaborately formed pagoda in this picture is called the ‘Set-thau-ya-phiya’, the height of which is stated to be about fifty cubits, or 75 feet. The ornamented post near the entrance, which is seen guarded by a pair of the usual leonine warders, is another form of the ‘Tugoon-dyn’, having, in place of the ‘Henza’, a richly carved, winged and gilt figure, believed to represent a ‘Nat’, or spirit.'