Panoramic view of Umeerapoora. Looking S.E.
Artist: Grant, Colesworthy (1813-1880)
Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink
Watercolour with pen and ink of a panoramic view of Amarapura looking towards the south-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.
Grant wrote that: 'This division includes an exceedingly elaborate and imposing group of Pagodas, Kyoums and brick Tzoums, together with numerous private dwellings of the better class which are roofed with wood. Between the very elegant, large and gilt pagoda, which rises above the other buildings, and the next temple to the south, will be observed a lower building, having a square gilt spire and gable, terminating in the customary pinnacle and Tee. This very beautifully ornamented and gilt Tzoum, one amongst the more attractive objects of the city, a favourite resort of the Brahmins, and called the ‘Seckya-te-ya-phiya'...was built by the late King, and contains a gigantic copper figure of Gautma, which, including the pedestal, is about twenty four feet in height...The large brick building in the centre, to the right of the palm tree, is a Kyoum, or Monastery, of more than ordinary dimensions and importance. Between all these buildings is seen the Lake Toung-um-mah, spanned at further extremity of the picture by the long wooden bridge already noticed. Looking across the Lake, midway between the Seckya-te-ya-phiya and the large brick monastery, and intersected by a Tugoon-dyn, or Henza-post, may be dimly seen a long line of building. This was the outer enclosure of the British Residency, built expressly for the reception and accommodation of the Mission. Beyond the Lake is a continuation of the eastern mountains, which here occupy a more receding position.'