Panoramic view of Umeerapoora. Looking E.
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 east 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 claimed that: 'This laborious and minutely detailed section of the Panorama embraces the whole of the walled city of Umeerapoora, with the King’s Palace rearing its elegant pyasath in the centre...From this view of the capital it will be seen that the great collection of pagodas, and other religious edifices of Umeerapoora, are not within but exterior to the walled city. Of these edifices the principal, which is seen towering high above all the others, is called the ‘Patway-dau-gee’...together with the greater number of those [temples] represented in this drawing, which are all in perfect and careful, preservation, were partially thrown down (for the second time) by an earthquake which occurred during the past year (1856), but have all been restored by the King to their former state.'