View of S. West corner of the City Wall, Umeerapoora
Artist: Grant, Colesworthy (1813-1880)
Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink
Watercolour with pen and ink of the south-west corner of the 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 (1813-1880). 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: 'Each corner of the city wall was distinguished by a pretty lofty pagoda, and triple roofed covering; the angle here represented being improved and beautified by a line of massive palm trees skirting the interior; - but in both this and other instances the effect is destroyed by the presence of some rustic and shapeless hovel half in ruins. The moat here ceases, - a great portion of the southern side, the right of the pagoda, being skirted at no great space, by the lake Toung-um-mah.'