The Throne and audience Chamber, Palace
Artist: Grant, Colesworthy (1813-1880)
Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink
Watercolour with pen and ink of an interior view of the audience chamber in the Palace at Amarapura looking towards the throne 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 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, to attempt to persuade King Mindon to sign a treaty formally acknowledging the extension of British rule over the province. The mission started out from Rangoon (Yangon) and travelled up the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) to the royal capital at Amarapura, founded in 1782.
Grant (1813-1880) was sent as the official artist of the mission. Together with a privately-printed book of notes, his drawings give a vivid account of the journey, and a number were used for illustrations to Henry Yule’s ‘A Narrative of the mission sent by the Governor General of India to the Court of Ava in 1855’ published in 1858. Grant wrote that the audience chamber in this view was 'called ‘Thee-ha-thuna-yàzà-pulleng’, and used only on occasions of importance...the blaze and brilliancy of the colonnaded hall, with its choir and transepts, its elaborately ornate and singular throne, glittering in mosaic and gold...' Today, little remains of the palace buildings at Amarapura.