Artist: Grant, Colesworthy (1813-1880)
Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink
Watercolour with pen and ink of land flooded by the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River at Sameikkon from 'A Series of Views in Burmah taken during Major Phayre’s Mission to the Court of Ava in 1855' by Colesworthy Grant and dated 27 August 1855. 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 and travelled up the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) to the royal capital at Amarapura. Grant (1813-1880) was sent as the official artist of the mission. In recognition of his skill, he was presented with a gold cup and ruby ring by the Burmese King.
Grant described this view as follows: “Quitting Mengoon, and continuing on the eastern side of the river, the Mission passed the village of Yan-de-boo...The next halting station was Samaik-gon, noted for the production and manufacture of Saltpetre...Ere reaching this spot, the river had so spread, divided, wandered, and widened, as to make it difficult to distinguish at a distance the course of the stream from the fields. The low lands were inundated, presenting that very pictorial appearance always occasioned by the intimate union of rich foliage with clear water. One of those very long bridges so characteristic of Burmah, crosses the inundation in rear.'