Moung-ghee - The son of Bundoola. Rangoon
Artist: Grant, Colesworthy (1813-1880)
Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink
Watercolour in pen and ink of a portrait of Moung-ghee, the son of the renowned General Maha Bundoola, in Rangoon (Yangon) '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). Inscribed with the sitter's signature in Burmese script.
The mission followed the ending of the Second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852 and the annexation 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 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. A number of his drawings were used for illustrations to Henry's Yule’s 'A Narrative of the mission sent by the Governor General of India to the Court of Ava in 1855' published in London in 1858.
Grant wrote that: 'Under the prestige of his father's name, and not from any display of military talent or disposition in himself, Moung-ghee was appointed General of the Burmese army sent against the British at commencement of the last war; when expectations of the wonders which he was to have accomplished being disappointed, or dissatisfaction in some way occasioned, he was recalled to the capital; but fully knowing this was but the prelude to the loss of his head, Moung-ghee very wisely came over to the British, by whom he was, and continues to be, kindly treated. He has a pension from Government; but he is said to be gratified in a yet greater degree by a small grant of land made to him by the Governor General, Lord Dalhousie. Moung-ghee is far above the ordinary stature of the Burmese, being full six feet in height, and well made in proportion. He is exceedingly cheerful, happy and contented.'