Fort of Rajanagar 1790, during the third Mysore War
Artist: MacKenzie, Colin (1754-1821)
Water-colour painting of the Fort of Rajanagar dated 1790, during the third Mysore War, by Colin MacKenzie (1754-1821). Inscribed on the front in ink is: 'Rajanagur from the West, 1790, drawn on the march to the Southward with the Grand Army. Original by C. Mackenzie.'
The British fought four separate wars with the Rajas of Mysore Haidar Ali (c. 1722-1782) and his son, Tipu Sultan (1753-1799) for control of southern India. In 1781 Haidar was defeated and died a year later but the military campaign was continued by his son, Tipu. The final battle took place in May 1799 when the British stormed the fortress at Seringapatam and Tipu Sultan was killed. The defeat of Tipu and his forces made the British East India Company the dominant power in India. Images such as this were eagerly consumed by the British public, upon whom the drama of Seringapatam and Tipu had made a strong impression.