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The Kings Palace, Exterior View, from within the Royal grounds

The Kings Palace, Exterior View, from within the Royal grounds

Artist: Grant, Colesworthy (1813-1880)

Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink

Date: 1855

Shelfmark: WD540(43)

Item number: 54043

Length: 337

Width: 482

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour with pen and ink of a view of the King's Palace at 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 to Amarapura took place after the Second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852 and the annexation by the British of the Burmese province of Pegu (Bago). It was despatched by the Governor-General of India Lord Dalhousie on the instructions of the East India Company, with the aim of persuading King Mindon to sign a treaty formally acknowledging the extension of British rule over the province. It was headed by Arthur Phayre, with Henry Yule as Secretary. Grant (1813-1880) was sent as official artist and Linnaeus Tripe as photographer. Together with a privately-printed book of notes, Grant's drawings give a vivid account of the journey, and a number were used for illustrations to Yule’s ‘A Narrative of the mission sent by the Governor General of India to the Court of Ava in 1855’ published in 1858.

The mission started out from Rangoon (Yangon) and travelled up the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River to the royal city of Amarapura, founded in 1782. Today, little remains of the royal palace visited by the mission. Grant wrote that the palace 'or ‘Nan-dau,’ was built by Tharawaddee about the year 1838, and with its grounds is believed to cover a space of about quarter of a mile square. The lower part, an elevated terrace, is of brick; the superstructure entirely of wood, gilt...The length of the terrace or basement is about 260 feet...and the height of the spire is said to be 101 cubits...The steps by which the Mission entered the hall of audience are seen, at the near end of the basement.'

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