Fort Defiance (i.e. the so-called Tamkam) near Madura. June 1784
Artist: MacKenzie, Colin (1754-1821)
Watercolour painting of Fort Defiance near Madurai in Tamil Nadu, by Colin MacKenzie, dated June 1784. Inscribed on the front in ink is: 'Fort Defiance near Madura before it was repaired by Mr John(n)s (?)June 1784. C. McK.'
Colin MacKenzie (1754-1821) joined the East India Company as an engineer at the age of 28 and spent the majority of his career in India. He used the salary he earned from his military career as a captain, major and finally a colonel to finance his research into the history and religion of Indian and Javan culture. This painting is of the Tumkum, the country house erected by Tirumala Nayak that was built in the mid-17th century and earned its Fort Defiance moniker from its having been a defended outpost during the siege of Madurai in 1764. It was subsequently converted into the Collector's Bungalow.