West Gate and part of City Wall, Umeerapoora
Artist: Grant, Colesworthy (1813-1880)
Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink
Watercolour in pen and ink of the west gate and city walls of Amarapura 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. Amarapura was originally laid out on a square plan, with high brick walls surrounded by a moat. The walls were inset with twelve gateways crowned with tiered wooden pavilions characteristic of sacred Burmese architecture known as “pyathat”.
Grant wrote that: “This view was taken from the terrace of Mr. Spear’s residence, and overlooked the broad moat, - the causeway or bridge which crosses it, and the western gate in the wall of the City, which on the exterior appeared to be about 17 or 18 feet in height...The gateway is honorably surmounted by a triple-roofed covering, - serving as ornament to the gate and protection to warders or sentries. The King’s Palace is seen rising from the centre of the city, and on the extreme left appears the triple-roofed and apparently tiled dwelling of the Ein-she-men or Crown Prince. The Mountains to the East of Umeerapoora close in the back ground.'